Facebook is losing its youth -

Social notworking site Facebook is losing the hearts and minds of the young, according to new figures.

Professor Daniel Miller of University College London, an anthropologist who worked on the research, wrote in an article for academic news website The Conversation that his study of how teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is "not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried".

He said that Facebook is morphing into a tool for keeping in touch with older family members and younger people see Facebook as 'uncool'.

Kinds of today prefer simpler social networks such as Twitter and Snapchat. The only time you will see a teen on there is to stay in touch with older relatives, Miller said.

Miller said that most teens feel embarrassed even to be associated with it.

This year marked the start of what looks likely to be a sustained decline of what had been the most pervasive of all social networking sites.

Once parents were worried about their children joining Facebook, and now it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives.

This years Global Social Media Impact Study, which was funded by the European Union, observed 16 to 18 year olds in eight countries for 15 months and found that Facebook use was in freefall. Instead, young people are turning to simpler services like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp which Professor Miller conceded were "no match" for Facebook in terms of functionality.

"Most of the school children in our survey recognised that in many ways, Facebook is technically better than Twitter or Instagram. It is more integrated, better for photo albums, organising parties and more effective for observing people's relationships," said Professor Miller, adding that "slick isn't always best" in attracting young users.

WhatsApp has overtaken Facebook as the number one way to send messages and Snapchat has gained in popularity in recent months by allowing users to send images which "self-destruct" after a short period on the recipients phone in order to maintain privacy.