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Social Media Becomes Less Important to Teens; Prefer to Shop In-Store Than Online

by Vahe Habeshian  |  
April 15, 2013

Today's teens, though digital natives, by a wide margin prefer to shop in stores than online, and even their use of what they consider their favorite social networks is decreasing in importance for them, according to the 23rd semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey from Piper Jaffray.

The study also indicates improving discretionary spending across various categories: "Our Spring 2012 survey results provide confirmation that we are in the early stages of a clearly defined discretionary spending cycle," said Jeff Klinefelter, director of research and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray.

"Double-digit increases in spending on a sequential and year-over-year basis for both upper- and average-income teens, and similar strength in spending intentions, signal improved confidence in the overall environment and a willingness to spend more broadly on key categories of interest."

Below, selected findings from the most recent Taking Stock With Teens survey from Piper Jaffray.

Social Networks and Websites

Facebook is still cited by a plurality (33%) of teens as the most important social network, but that's down 9 percentage points from the fall 2012 level of 42%.

Instead, teens give more importance to Twitter and Instagram now than they did six months ago:

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Vahe Habeshian is the director of publications at MarketingProfs and a long-time editor. Reach him via

Twitter: @habesh

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  • by Cara Mon Apr 15, 2013 via web

    It would be interesting to see the Male/Female demographics separately.

  • by Karen Mon Apr 15, 2013 via web

    teens also don't have the luxury of credit cards which means its harder to shop online than in stores.

  • by Victoria P. Mon Apr 15, 2013 via web

    I'm wondering how much these results are skewed by the fact that teens are less likely to have credit cards. Was there any research into how these teens are paying for their online merchandise?

  • by Karen Perkins Life Coach Mon Apr 15, 2013 via web

    As a parent I find the teenagers
    1 Search on the net
    2 Try on in town as sizings are so random
    3 Make their parents order on line
    Twitter seems to be very in at the moment , but as Paris found out , needs tidying up when looking for Uni places or a job !!

  • by karen ticktin Tue Apr 16, 2013 via web

    The pre-teens are all about Instagram - it is their go to social network of choice.

  • by Beth Worthy Mon Apr 29, 2013 via web

    Appreciating post Vahe, it seems you have made alot of effort in collecting the information that you have mentioned in your article. The way you have gathered and presented the data with the help of the images and graphs, is really commendable.

  • by Dan Wed May 8, 2013 via web

    Will this trend change as these teens grow older, or is this the new generation with new social media and shopping habits?

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