I recently ran across an article entitled “Are College-Bound Students Leaving Social Media.” Basically, this article details what social media sites college students are most frequently using.
I think that their might be a fallacy among educators/administrators in how student social media usage is viewed. I think the long held belief is that FaceBook reigns “king”, and can serve as a one stop shop for reaching our students. I believe that notion worked in the 2010 world, where other social media sites failed to keep up. However, as this article details, we have a scattered landscape, and our students are moving from site to site as quickly as these sites pop up.
FaceBook is QUICKLY loosing popularity among college students.
This article says that only 67% (2/3rd) of students are actively using FB. This is down 12% YOY, and, in my opinion, will only continue to drop.
Why the sudden drop ?
Well, as my students put it, FB is no longer “cool” (*I know—not very “professional” sounding or scientific). So, why the sudden drop in “coolness.” Well, for starters, about 3/4 of their parents are now on FB, 1/2 of which joined specifically to, and I’m quoting an actual survey, “Keep tabs on their kids.”
What is replacing FB ?
Many are arguing that Twitter is the new FB. Twitter usage has surged in the past few years, and now 1 in 3 college students are actively using the site. I’d expect this number to continue rising.
What is the next big thing ?
The next “big thing,” is clearly Instagram. In the first year on the survey, Instagram now has 15% of college students. This is a very strong entrance, and I’d expect this to also continue to rise.
What does this mean for faculty/administrators?
Well, this is a bit more tricky. Faculty who like to keep up with their students may see the need to try out Twitter/Instagram. Also, those who actively use social media as a part of their courses may need to change what sites are used.
It’d difficult to predict what will come next, however, If I were to predict the future, I’d say that the idea of one social media site “ruling them all” is long gone. I think students will continue to migrate to niche sites (i.e. Instagram) as quickly as these sites pop up.