Are college-bound students leaving social media?

While last year’s report was the first time the survey asked students about Google’s answer to Facebook, nearly 20 percent of the respondents said they frequented the site.

Now, only 5 percent of respondents said they use Google Plus.

“Were puzzling a little bit about the sharp decline,” Geyer said. “It really fell off. But I wouldn’t abandon Google Plus just yet. The SEO benefits are important and I think, long-term, Google Plus will stay the course and come back.”

While it’s hard to say exactly where the students are now spending their time online, other forms of social media are seeing an increase in use, according to the survey.

Nearly three out of 10 students now use Twitter, rising one percentage point from last year’s survey. E-Expectations Report newbie Instagram made a strong entrance with 15 percent, while 3 percent of respondents said they use the oft-criticized photo-sharing app Snapchat.

The survey also found that while virtually all of the students said they think information on a university’s website is reliable, only about half of them said they trust information delivered through a university’s social media.

I was expecting a pretty significant difference,” Geyer said. “But I think it is encouraging and interesting to see perhaps more trust being put in social media than I might have expected.”

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