If your child is late for curfew and not answering their phone, you might think the best way to find them is to track them down on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). According to a recent survey by The Intelligence Group, you would be better off tracking their comments on YouTube as 74% of 14-18 year old Internet users say that they use YouTube “frequently.” By contrast, Facebook can only claim “frequent” use amongst the same age group for 60% of the same demographic.
Thankfully, for Facebook, once 67% of these kids get out of high school, they reverse the maxim “too cool for school” by “frequently” using Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) from the ages of 19 to 24.
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Returning to the 14-18 demographic, “frequent” use of iTunes is 39%, Instagram 35%, and Twitter 31%. Another positive sign for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) given that they own Instagram.
While YouTube must love these numbers when they come in at 74% amongst 14-18 year-olds, a steady decline in “frequent” use appears as users age. 68% of 19-24 year-olds use YouTube frequently and this drops to 62% amongst the 25-34 demographic.
YouTube does have an age ceiling
Interest in “bum fights”, Beiber videos and whatever the hell PewDiePie and Smosh are seems to dissipate (thankfully) as people get older.
These are numbers that, while great for YouTube, the company doesn’t publicly gloat about often. Presumably, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (YouTube) doesn’t want to alienate older viewers. For example, my mother was quite surprised when I showed her that she can listen to Glen Miller’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on YouTube using her smart TV. However, just navigating YouTube looking for things without a search field left her feeling old and almost curmudgeonly for a vivacious woman of seventy.
The media has never hesitated to write about how Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is losing its pull with younger users in lieu of Instagram, SnapChat, and myriad messaging programs. While there is a decline in use among younger users, Facebook continues to build users in older demographics. And as is the case with my mom, these older users are truly confounded by YouTube and the videos it hosts.