Nearly as many (42%) said that the changes make navigating the pages confusing. Respondents were especially disparaging about the ticker, the scrolling feed showing friends’ recent posts. The general opinion was the ticker conveyed too much information, with some teens even saying it is “stalkerish.”
Nick Fuller, senior director of marketing at Mr. Youth, pointed out that the auto-generated nature of the ticker is what bothers respondents. “These teens live in a world where they expect to customize everything from their shoes to their Facebook page,” he told eMarketer.
While 59% of respondents claimed that they will use Facebook as much as ever despite their annoyance at the changes, 21% vowed to use Facebook less and to begin using Google+ more, and 6% said they will switch to Google+.
These responses illustrate that while teens are brand loyal, they are also “a fickle crowd and are willing to try new things,” according to Christian Borges, Mr. Youth’s vice president of marketing.
“I don’t think they’ll be leaving the platform in droves, but the changes do open the door to their trying other platforms that may be more suited to customization and privatization than Facebook,” Borges told eMarketer.
The survey also demonstrates how personally involved teens feel with the social network. That involvement is also evident in their interaction with brands on Facebook. A study by Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey about consumer behavior on Facebook—an inquiry not restricted to just teens—found 41% of US Facebook users became fans of a brand on Facebook “to show others that I like/support the brand.”
What is the takeaway for advertisers following Facebook’s latest facelift? “Brands have to do their due diligence in knowing what teens’ passions are,” Borges said. “The onus is on brands, agencies and marketers to really understand that now more than ever.”