Facebook Finally Admits Decrease Among Teen Users
Facebook is under pressure from competitors to retain its teenaged users, but the company admits it’s finding it difficult to maintain the attention of young teens. With mobile-based alternatives like Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook is continually facing the challenge of attracting younger generations to engage with its more complex, web-based platform.
Earlier this week, Facebook’s CFO David Ebersman spoke at the company’s earnings call and revealed that the social media site “did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.” However, Ebersman prefaced the bad news by explaining that “usage of Facebook among US teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3.” He also stated that the new data is “of questionable significance,” suggesting Facebook is trying to remain optimistic that this trend will not continue.
The aging social media site doesn’t want its user base to age with it and this is the first time Facebook has officially acknowledged having problems enticing teenaged users. Just last quarter, Zuckerberg went on the record saying that Facebook is not having trouble with teens. The site’s founder stated in July: “One specific demographic that I want to address is U.S. teens. There’s been a lot of speculation and reporting that fewer teens are using Facebook, but based on our data that just isn’t true.”
Not surprisingly, Facebook’s report about its increasing unpopularity among teens resulted in a sudden drop in share price.
Why Are Teens Leaving Facebook?
Many teens are more interested in a mobile-first site like Instagram and Snapchat, both because the interfaces are simpler and because the content is less permanent, meaning future employers won’t be able to track their post history as easily. Plus, there are fewer adults, particularly parents, using Instagram and Snapchat, whereas Facebook has become a haven for the adults and authority figures teens seek to escape online.
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