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Monday, August 12, 2013

Are Students Turning Away from Facebook?

Could social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube be on the way out, particularly for college-bound students? Probably not, but a new report has found that high school juniors and seniors are not using the sites as much as in the past.

The 2013 Expectation Report was conducted during March and April to see how high-schoolers used social media and mobile devices to help make their college choices. Of the nearly 2,000 students who responded, 67% said they still used Facebook, a 12% drop from the year before.

“Please do not run out of the room screaming that you need to shut down your Facebook presence. That is not my message today,” said Stephanie Geyer, associate vice president of the research firm Noel-Levitz, during a webinar to announce the results. “My message is that the sands are shifting and we need to keep watching and seeing what’s going on.”

The percentage of college-bound students using YouTube was at 62%, which represents a 32% drop from 2012. Three out of 10 students use Twitter, a 1% rise, while the study listed Instagram for the first time and found that 15% of the students frequented the site. Just 5% of the respondents said they used Google+.

“It really fell off, but I wouldn’t abandon Google+ just yet,” Geyer said. “The SEO [search engine optimization] benefits are important and I think, long-term, Google Plus will stay the course and come back.”

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