Alternative Social Network Sites On The Rise, Microblogging And Image Sharing Preferred By Teens

It doesn’t seem that long ago since Facebook beat Myspace in the social networking battle, yet now it’s Facebook that could be in danger of being beaten thanks to the alternative social network sites available.

Whether this shift in social networking is due to the age-old argument that Facebook becomes uncool once your parents join up, we’re not sure; however, there is no denying that other sites are on the rise and giving Facebook reason to pause and rethink their strategy.

A recent study by Pew Internet & American Life Project has discovered that, while 94 percent of teenagers still have their Facebook account, they’re using it less and more carefully.

Furthermore, it was revealed that teens are more likely to edit and change their previous posts to better accommodate any privacy changes they’ve made.

So, although teenagers might still be using Facebook for a “family picnic” type experience, more often than not they’re moving to alternative social network sites to make more traditional status updates and posts. Most notable of this type of behavior is microblogging.

For all that don’t speak the language of bloggers, this term refers to short entries or post updates on someone’s social network site. In doing this, the users still gets to put themselves out there on the web but without having to resort to incredibly long posts. This can be seen in the rise of Tumblr and Pheed; both sites seem to promote self-expression over the ‘life-casting’ that so often fills our Facebook news feed.

However, now that Yahoo has bought Tumblr, only time will tell if it maintains its large number of users or whether they will jump ship and find somewhere else.

Although these sites aren’t necessarily teen dominated, there is a clear difference in posting style between Tumblr and Facebook. However, the social network site that has seen its teen users double is none-other than Twitter, which hardly seems surprising given that a tweet can only be a 100+ characters long.

In addition to this, the younger generation of users seem far more public in their postings than they do on Facebook, for example, while many have now altered their Facebook setting to keep their posts amongst friends and family. However, Twitter users are less likely to do this, with just 24 percent actually making their accounts private.

Alongside side microblogging sites, you also have image sharing from Instagram and Snapchat. The beauty of Instagram, for anyone who isn’t sure what it’s all about (are there really many of you out there?), it let’s you share photos and add cool filters to make them look better.

While that definitely won over a lot of teenagers and young adults, it soon generated an older following, which could be seen as a reason why Snapchat was born. This image sharing site has a slight difference: It lets you send a pic which then “self-destructs” after being viewed.

Maybe Sofia Vergara should have used a social network site similar to Snapchat rather than Twitter. That way, her revealing pics might not have been so widely known.

After photos like that and others get uncovered everyday, it’s no wonder Snapchat is a favorite among teens because it allows them a sense of privacy in what they post; however, please bear in mind that it only takes a second to print screen an image. Just because something says your pic has been deleted doesn’t mean someone hasn’t been smart enough to save the image.

All warnings aside though, there is no doubt that alternative social network sites are on the rise and eager to overtake Facebook in the social networking race.


[Image via Shutterstock]