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Modern Parenthood

As Facebook's teen mojo fades, parents ask: What's next?

Facebook has lost some of its allure for teens as their parents and teachers have made themselves home on the site. So where are they heading for their social media fix?

By Guest blogger / November 1, 2013

Facebook has lost favor among many teens. Here, Mark Risinger, 16, checks his Facebook page on his computer as his mother, Amy Risinger, looks on at their home in Glenview, Ill.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

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People like to know about the next big thing, and feel anxious until they've pinned it down. And for quite a while it was safe to say that Facebook was it – both the reigning current big thing and the next big thing, an easy answer for parents, marketers, social commentators, and anyone else trying to pin down where the action is taking place online.

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And while 2013 won't be remembered as the year that Facebook died (or even faltered), it does seem to be a turning point in the social network's history, as it pivots from the end-all-be-all to the conservative favorite among an unruly pack of social media upstarts.

A Monitor post from earlier this year captures a quote from the authors of a Pew study that sums up the zeitgeist quite nicely, speaking of:

...the sense of a social burden teens associated with Facebook. While Facebook is still deeply integrated in teens’ everyday lives, it is sometimes seen as a utility and an obligation rather than an exciting new platform that teens can claim as their own.

A recent back and forth on Slate and Mashable offers insight into how the conversation is playing out at the end of 2013. A 13-year-old blogger at Mashable posted a much-shared item entitled "I'm 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook"; Slate wrote a (self-consciously) condescending rebuttal lamenting that "the ascendant paradigm for forecasting the future seems to center on first-person anecdotes and unsupported hearsay from random teenagers"; and then Slate acknowledged new data (summed up in this Business Insider report) revealing that, oh, oops – the random teenager was essentially right.

So if the cool bloom is definitively off the rose at Facebook, what's picking up the slack? The answer via various studies and surveys is "Twitter, and more."

1) Twitter

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