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.