Some Teens Bored of MySpace

Posted on October 29, 2006

Losing the teen crowd would be very bad news for MySpace. The company has had advertisers interested in marketing movies, music and other media and products to MySpace's young audience. A Washington Post story says to teenagers the largest social network is "so last year."
"I think it's definitely going down -- a lot of my friends have deleted their MySpaces and are more into Facebook now," said Birnbaum, a junior who spends more time on her Facebook profile, where she messages and shares photos with other students in her network.

From the other side of the classroom, E.J. Kim chimes in that in the past three months, she's gone from slaving over her MySpace profile up to four hours a day -- decorating it, posting notes and pictures to her friends' pages -- to deleting the whole thing.

"I've grown out of it," Kim said. "I thought it was kind of pointless."

Such is the social life of teens on the Internet: Powerful but fickle. Within several months' time, a site can garner tens of millions of users who, just as quickly, might flock to the next place, making it hard for corporate America to make lasting investments in whatever's hot now.
MySpace is not alone. Xanga, Friendster and social networks are also suffering from traffic drops.
Take Xanga, the hot social networking site before MySpace: In October 2002, the typical Xanga user spent an average of 1 hour and 39 minutes a month on the site, a figure that declined steadily, reaching only 11 minutes last month, according to Nielsen-NetRatings. Friendster, another older site, hit its first usage peak of 1 hour and 51 minutes in October 2003, and then hit another peak of 3 hours and 3 minutes in February 2006. But last month, the average user was on Friendster for a mere 7 minutes.
The article says some teens are leaving MySpace because there has been too much attention focused on the site. Others are leaving social networks completely to focus on non-electronic relationships. Another reasons teens leave is because they simply have no loyalty to a particular brand.
"They're not loyal," Ben Bajarin, a market analyst for Creative Strategies Inc., said of the youth demographic. Young audiences search for innovative and new features. They're constantly looking for new ways to communicate and share content they find or create, and because of that group mentality, friends shift from service to service in blocs.

Consider the most popular teen sites tracked by Nielsen-NetRatings. Topping the list last month were Snapvine.com, PLyrics.com, Picgames.com -- none of which appeared among the top 10 for April, or the list a year ago.
Of the three sites mentioned above -- Snapvine.com, PLyrics.com, Picgames.com -- Snapvine and Picgames are tools that can be used with a social network. PLyrics.com is a music lyrics website with annoying pop-up ads. Snapvine is probably the most interesting of the three. The site offers a voice player that teens can use to talk to their friends. It also offers recorded messages that people can send to their friends.

It is anybody's guess what the teens will do next. The only sure thing is that the teenagers will decide for themselves what the next big thing for teens will be.