As a twenty-year old student it is incredibly easy to target me, where do I spend most of my days, and what am I doing? On Facebook, scrolling.
Oh, and studying of course!
We are the social media generation, we were 10-years-old when Facebook became popular, we started to tweet at 15, we downloaded Snapchat at 16 to send unflattering pictures to each other, and then downloaded Instagram to post flattering pictures of ourselves.
Of all of the social media sites to choose from what one do students use the most? Is new always better? Have we grown accustomed to one in particular? What site has engrained its value into the minds of students?
Snapchat was the favourite among the student population as I discussed in the previous blog of this series. However, it’s Facebook that is used most by college students. Commanding 46% of their attention across all channels, Facebook has carved itself a niche as the necessity in the student world of social media. A large part of what you will need to target a student is Facebook.
So yes: Beans, Booze and Facebook!
Facebook started out as a site for college students, it’s interesting that 13 years since its creation it’s still the most used social media platform by college students.
After Facebook the most commonly used platform was Snapchat at 37%, then YouTube 11%, Instagram 5%, LinkedIn 1% and “none for” YikYak- again.
Only 1% of college students used LinkedIn the most- accurate representation of how career driven we are.
Eternal dilemma: Scrolling or studying…
Does Facebook still have a novelty?
I can remember about 12 years ago when my sister came home from university and showed us Facebook. Now it’s not like we thought it was the most mind blowing site in the universe- I mean, we had Bebo.
I really couldn’t understand why you would go on Facebook. It was so plain, and all you could do was look at people’s profiles, I mean how boring, right? They didn’t even have cool skins like Bebo- like the Nyan Cat had puked on each profile.
In truth, I joined Facebook at 12 years-old for Farmville, I had no intention of ‘sharing’, ‘liking’, or ‘posting’, but when my crops eventually died from neglect , I got with the times.
However I think the 12 year-olds of today are less inclined to rush to the site based on sharing and openness, they have so many other apps to choose from. Snapchat requires people to know your username, Instagram has a privacy setting that really pulls the curtain on creepers. They are more worried -or more aware- about the potential strangers on the internet than those who were once attracted by the novelty of Facebook.
Could this spell the end for Facebook’s charm of necessity? Will the next phase of third-level students grow into academia using Snapchat as their primary social media app, meaning they could pick a college who has a strong Snapchat game? It’s possible.
The value of Facebook to college students was clear from those results, but to add even more value to Facebook and its ability to target third-level students I asked “Do you follow your third-level college on social media?”
And this is what they said…
So not only is the student demographic using Facebook most, 47% of them make sure they follow their third-level institution on Facebook.
After that it was Snapchat at 21%, presumable because it is their favourite app. A very close third was Instagram at 20%.
I’m not sure how surprising this graph is…
How much time did you really spend in the library?
We congregate on Facebook. We are part of the extended, open, elaborate, expanding, energetic community of Facebook. We joined and grew up in that community. The community of Facebook is one that is hard matched on any other social media site. The reach and the impact of the necessity social site is unmatchable. By looking at the results that show that Snapchat is more appreciated by the college student demographic but seeing that they still use Facebook more. Will that mean that Facebook’s engrained value will sustain it, or will Snapchat keep growing in the estimations of the next wave of college students?
What Facebook and Snapchat do have going for them is that everyone’s FOMO is catered for. Often the material released and posted by people on Snapchat and Facebook is slightly more raw then that of the filtered Instagram photos. Snapchat is the eye into the world of the beholder. Facebook is an overview of the life and world of the beholder.
I spoke briefly about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) in the blog Students on social media and I feel that this FOMO is intrinsic to all social media channels. As I have remarked Snapchat feeds on young people’s FOMO, you can miss an event but see what happened through stories, or discover. Just this past weekend Coachella was on in California and I could fool someone into thinking I was there. The amount of content I consumed about the music and arts festival over the weekend was phenomenal, through Snapchat discover and through Snapchat stories from famous people I follow.
The FOMO is also a motivating factor on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Could Twitter be the place where an older demographic remedy their FOMO? Is Instagram where we all remedy our FOMO for travel and beauty? Do we all go to Facebook to remedy our overriding FOMO on the lives of everyone around us?
I enjoy being part of the Facebook community and by extension the social media community. One thing 1 billion people on this universe share is that they are on Facebook, they are one byte of the social media sphere.
Social media is a social movement.
We are part of this social movement: changing and adapting to the ever-expanding social world we occupy, contributing to the sharing culture and the openness of social media.
Mark Zuckerberg has definitely changed something be it the world, our mind frame…but most certainly our social network.