Are High School and College Students Leaving Facebook for Email?

There’s a very interesting analysis about Facebook users reported by Marshall Kirkpatrick on Read Write Web:

Just when all the grown ups started figuring out Facebook, college and high school users have declined in absolute number by 20% and 15% respectively in a mere six months, according to estimates Facebook provides to advertisers that were archived for tracking by an outside firm. Facebook users aged 55 and over have skyrocketed from under 1 million to nearly six million in the same time period. There are more Facebook users over 55 years old today than there are high school students using the site.

So if the younger generation is indeed leaving Facebook, the question is where are they going?  A return to MySpace seems pretty unlikely.  Just where are those 18-25 year old folks that advertisers love trying to run and hide to?

First of all, its a big “if”.  It’s very possible that the true problem is that 18-25 year olds simply are not indicating the high school or college that they attend or graduated from.  Since this is no longer a requirement like it was in Facebook’s earlier days, the numbers could easily shift over time.  Perhaps we are seeing that.

One of the most interesting possibilities is that they’re heading to the closed off world of email.  The most interesting comment on Marshall’s post was from a recent college graduate.

I, as a recent graduate, do not use Facebook anymore because of e-mail. I would say that most of high school, and college, students have not discovered e-mail yet, as email is used a lot in corporate America. Ever since I started working, where I had to use e-mail all the time, I switched to e-mailing friends instead of going to Facebook. A few of my friends have done the same thing.

That’s an amazing revelation, people being exposed to email for the first time and liking it so much that they’re getting off the Facebook boat.  Meanwhile almost everyone I know (I’m 38 years old) is trying do the opposite – break free from  these archaic, closed off systems like email and have conversations out in the open where they can be easily and efficiently discovered. 

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  1. Posted July 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Interesting thought… but wouldn't that mean that the shift should happen post-college?

    One thing about the numbers seems strange to me. The number of US users 0-17 is up by 24% and the number of US users 18-24 is up by 5%. So the number of high school and college users is down, but these age ranges are up?

    Are HS and college students not as quick to join their HS and college networks?

    Posted October 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Yahoo Messenger…Me -18…Im Leaving Facebook because of that, We Just Join Facebook to find friends…get their emails and add them in Yahoo and Hotmail messenger. A Lot of us abouit 5000 boys are doings this regularly.

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    Posted November 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Great article,This site provides very useful tips,emails are useful to everyone.Thanks for the greatreading, college emails .I will pass this on to our Ira clients to read.

  4. Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Hmm. I'm a bit suspicious of those statistics. It seems very unlikely that students with a propensity to post pictures and video would switch to a medium that made it that much more difficult to do, when it is so easy on Facebook.

  5. Posted March 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    The majority of people I talk to that are above 40 tend not to be Facebook users. maybe we've lived long enough to create some real friendships with real people!

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  1. By Hitting the Road to Find your Passion on July 26, 2009 at 5:02 am

    [...] Real World News: Gen Y leaving Facebook for e-mail [...]

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