LONDON: UK teens are using Facebook "a lot less" than they did a year ago and are increasingly turning to other services including Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, ongoing research has found. 

The findings emerged as part of a five-year study by Amaze, the marketing and technology consultancy. The Amaze Generation research project began in 2011 and closely follows a 20-strong group of 10-to-15 year old digital natives in order to understand and spot trends in their changing attitudes and behaviours regarding technologies.

As the group matures the Amaze Generation study has found they are using Facebook less and using Twitter more, Marketing reported.

Natalie Gross, chief executive at Amaze, said: "We are seeing how new social sites are being adopted phenomenally quickly and some established networks, such as Facebook, are starting to wane."

And she warned: "Marketers and brands will have to respond to these constant trend changes to keep ahead of the game when interacting with this age group."

Whichever platform they are using, social networks are typically the first port of call for these teens when they go online, with around half the group using them several times a day.

It is not only their most popular online activity but the one they would miss most if they did not have web access.

Further evidence of the sometimes fickle nature of this age group's brand loyalties came in the finding that the use of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), "by far the most popular" mobile application in 2011 and 2012, was also declining.

WhatsApp is increasingly favoured, being a cross-platform messaging app unlike BBM.

Ekaterina Walter, CMO at marketing firm Branderatti, noted at a recent ad:tech event in Melbourne, that Generations Y and Z did not stick with the brands they knew, unlike earlier generations, since they were able to tap into unlimited sources of information to make buying decisions, and regularly switched between competing brands.

"As marketers, we have no idea how to market to this generation, because we are so used to doing things a certain way," she said, as she emphasises that "digital natives are an absolutely different generation. They're sophisticated; they're educated; they're global; they know no limits".

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff