Are Young Teens Coming Out of the Facebook Lair?

Is Facebook losing its young teens? It wouldn’t seem to be so if you have teenage friends or siblings – you’d see them hooked to it, at least I see teens I know loving Facebook. But it is happening, to the extent that Facebook itself is admitting it.

Significant Revenue Growth for Facebook

This has come in the backdrop of the social network revealing its 2013 Q3 revenue which stands at $2.02 billion, beating earnings forecasts significantly, with a surge in mobile visits and mobile advertising. That’s certainly good news for the social media giant. But what about the fact that teen users are abandoning it?

David Ebersman, chief financial officer of Facebook, revealed that the Facebook usage among US teens was stable overall, but that daily users among younger teens were decreasing. Ebersman played down the findings though, confidently saying that it wasn’t of much “statistical significance” and admitted it wasn’t always possible to conduct accurate research on this since many teens are not honest about their age when they sign up.

Facebook Marketing

Something is Surely Wrong

However, there is definitely a significant trend emerging among teens which caused this matter to be raised. Many surveys have reported this, such as the Pew Internet survey published on May 21, 2013 and the Piper Jaffray study, the findings of which were published earlier this month. Piper Jaffray reports that “the popularity of Facebook is waning among teens with 33% citing it as the most important, down from 42% six months ago”.

  • The chief reason behind this trend, as uncovered by these studies, has been privacy concerns and the fact that parents and their teenage children would be using the same Facebook social network, which the kids don’t like.
  • Privacy settings for young teens, such as the ability to only share posts with friends-of-friends, has also been blamed for the decline.

The studies also reveal that these teenagers are moving towards Twitter and Facebook’s own Instagram.

This is something that will naturally raise concerns among businesses that target teen users via Facebook. Facebook marketing is undoubtedly a powerful tool for companies, brands, and products. Videos, photos and long descriptions of products can be uploaded to show how a product can be used. Facebook offers real-time product promotion and brings customers in. Businesses have learnt to buy Facebook fans and gain an edge over the competition. Several businesses offer coupons to potential customers via Facebook and for companies that sell products for teenagers, this is a great tactic.

Surely businesses that target teens have to look for another avenue to market their products. Maybe they will move on to other social networks that teens frequent such as Twitter and Instagram in the future.

Facebook is not taking this new development lying down. It has already made changes to its privacy policy for 13 to 17-year olds and is improving the user-friendliness of its mobile app. The increase in mobile visits and income from mobile advertising is a good sign and teens could get back since the vast majority of them are on their smartphones when they’re Facebook-ing.

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