Facebook attempted to “realize” to the world that teens are not leaving the social network and the teen user proportion is stable, following some report in the media about the massive teens drive-out from FB.
But, this clarification (you may call it realization) will not quiet the reports, but it attracts more attention and suggests that something fishy is behind the curtain. Last Friday, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said that “teen usage of Facebook remains stable.”
In an interview to All Things Digital, Sandberg said,
“The vast majority of U.S. teens are on Facebook. And the majority of U.S. teens use Facebook almost every day. I feel like I’ve lived this before. When I was first at Facebook, just a few years in, adults were getting into Facebook in larger numbers and there were all those memes that popped up” about teens leaving.
Actually, the reports of teen troubled Facebook revealed by the Q3 2013 financial results report of the company , where the firm’s CFO David Ebersman warned of the teen users in the age between 13-19. He told,
“We are pleased that we remain close to fully penetrated among teens in the U.S. Usage among U.S. teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3, but we did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.”
In last earnings call Facebook has reported a record profit that what Wall Street was expected, but the “teen trouble words” revealed by the company affected its shares next day with 6% plunge in opening bell. Even Guardian and New Yorker reported about teens’ moving to messenger apps by saying goodbye to Facebook. And Business Insider‘s report is not different than the above reports.
Facebook has to retain the youngsters as they are very important in terms of “young adult buyers” for the advertisers. Advertisers could opt to other apps and services for teen related products and advertisements. If this happens, then Facebook will be in trouble and the revenue machine will have to slow down.
The main competitors for Facebook in segment are 2-year old Snapchat app, which recently declined the $3 billion offer from the Facebook and other services such as Whatsapp, WeChat, Line, Kik messenger etc are also luring in few share of users (especially teens) of the world’s largest social network. However, Facebook has tried all the possible ways such as acquiring one such competitor – Instagram and revamping its mobile apps as well as integrating the messenger to mobile numbers etc.
Facebook knows the seriousness of this issue and it will keep on declining the losing ground in the teen segment, until the slowdown actually starts. Or, it have to acquire every competitor companies for some heavy bucks.