While Twitter has exploded over the last few years, one group of potential users -- teenagers, who were key to the success of MySpace and then Facebook -- seemed to remain uninterested. Their indifference was especially mystifying because Twitter, by providing a platform for short-form musings about yourself and your world, seemed a natural fit for a demographic defined by short attention spans and self-involvement (sorry, just being honest here).
But the kids may finally be catching on to the Twitter thing, judging by new data from financial firm Piper Jaffray, which conducted a survey of 8,600 teenagers and found that slightly more teens prefer Twitter to Facebook, 26% to 23%. That’s a significant change from a previous survey, conducted earlier this year, which found Facebook leading Twitter by a margin of 33% to 30%.
The changing figures are good for Twitter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad for Facebook, as many teens are also shifting their preferences to Instagram, acquired by Facebook in 2012; according to Piper Jaffray the proportion of teens who said they preferred Instagram increased six points from 17% to 23%.
Other social networks lag behind in teen preferences, with Tumblr getting 4%, the same as earlier this year; Google+ getting 3%, down from 5% earlier this year; and Pinterest getting 1%, down from 2% earlier this year. The proportion of teens who say they don’t use social networks fell from 6% earlier this year to 2% in the latest survey.