SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A new study by Piper Jaffray shows the fickle habits among U.S. teens and social networking sites. When asked which social network was most important to them, 23 percent of teenagers picked Facebook, down from 42 percent last year.

Over the same period, Instagram jumped from 12 percent to 23 percent. Meanwhile, Twitter topped this year’s poll at 27.

None of this is surprising to me. Facebook has been on a steady decline among American teens, according to a number of reports. Facebook has said that they’re doing okay with teens. That may be true globally, where the social network is still very much on the minds of people.

But why the rise in Twitter, you ask? I think it has gotten a lot of publicity and teens are very much aware of it. Really, it’s pretty much been an adult venue up until now, but I think the very short statements (up to 140 characters) appeals to teens and feels like texting to some people.

It is true that what you tweet will stay around forever unless you delete it. But the way Twitter is used is more like a conversation. Things stream by you, it feels less like you are posting something permanently that could affect you in the future.

Facebook, of course, should be concerned with the possibility of losing market share in the United States. The good news for them, however, is that they bought Instagram about a year ago for $1 billion, and that’s one of the sites that are growing among teens.

The survey didn’t specifically name Pinterest or Snapchat as sites that are growing amongst teens, but I have a feeling a lot of kids are into the feature where the pictures you take essentially disappear shortly after.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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