June 26, 2014, 11:47 AM

Facebook doesn’t have a teen problem

A new Forrester Research report found 28% of young teen Facebook users say they use the social network “all the time.”

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Facebook Inc. doesn’t have a teen problem, according to a new Forrester Research Inc. report.

The report, based on an online survey of 4,517 online users between the ages of 12 and 17, found that Facebook remains young users’ favorite social network. More than three-quarters of young teens use Facebook—which is twice the percentage of teens that say they use Pinterest, Tumblr or Snapchat and more than the percentage that use Instagram and WhatsApp combined.

Moreover, 28% of young teen Facebook users say they use the social network “all the time,” which is a higher percentage than any other social network.

The findings run counter to the narrative that young users are rapidly fleeing the social network. That storyline gained currency after the social network’s chief financial officer, David Ebersman, commented during Facebook’s third quarter earnings call that the social network saw “a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.” While he did preface that comment by noting that “usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3,” the remark led many analysts to suggest that Facebook’s popularity might be dipping. 

But reports of Facebook’s decline are exaggerated, says Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. “The sky is not falling,” he writes in a blog post. “Facebook does not have a problem attracting or retaining teen users.”

However, he does note that Facebook’s usage among young people has declined slightly. But those declines are small, he says, and the majority of young teens still use the social network. For instance, he points to a recent comScore Inc. report that found a 3% point drop in college-aged adults’ Facebook usage. That report also found that 89% of those young adults still use Facebook, which is much higher than any other social network.  

The Forrester report dovetailed with a report by social media and digital analytics provider Socialbakers that consumers are actively engaged on Facebook. The report finds that the number of interactions—consumers’ posts and Likes on marketers’ pages—on Facebook over the past year have consistently increased. In fact, since January interactions have risen 30%. The Socialbakers report is based on a sample of 3 million pages.

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