Before Facebook and MySpace, there was CollegeClub. CollegeClub was my first foray into using social media. It predated MySpace by at least seven years and, as I recall, had a very similar formula. I, like millions of other kids in their late teens, registered with CollegeClub right before going to college. It was a great way to keep in touch with friends and meet new people at your school.
While there’s a lot of speculation as to why CollegeClub failed – from poor management to the high cost of running such a website at that time – it was easy to take the leap to MySpace and then later to Facebook as the next “new things.” While shiny new objects aren’t the leading factor for changing social media allegiances (just look at Google+), when combined with teen angst, you have a powerful formula.
It was recently reported that there are 25 percent fewer teens using Facebook than there were in 2011. While I may have started using social media in my late teens, I can’t imagine having it play a role in my life since birth. Baby photos, graduations, prom dates … almost nothing is sacred when your parents are hanging out in the same place. And the last thing most teens want is to hang out with their parents.
So, should we stop using Facebook to target teens? A study shared in this Business Insider article suggests otherwise, reporting that most millennials prefer that brands communicate with them on Facebook over other platforms. But as teens leap elsewhere, I suppose that marketers will take their own leap and follow.