Many have claimed that Facebook’s hold on the teenage demographic has been slipping. Facebook’s earnings call on Wednesday did nothing to squelch these claims.
Facebook CFO David Ebersman said that while monitoring teen usage is a challenge, daily use among some may be declining.
“Youth usage among U.S. teens was stable overall from Q2 to Q3, but we did see a decrease in daily users partly among younger teens,” Ebersman said.
Ebersman’s definition of “younger teens” is unclear, as Facebook does not break out its user total by age group. But the comment does speak to the challenge Facebook has faced in retaining the attention of young consumers who are using other social sites like Snapchat, Twitter and even its own Instagram.
Younger teens may refer to Facebook users between 13 and 17 years old, an age group that Facebook has spent time focusing on in recent weeks.
Two weeks ago, Facebook changed its policy to allow teenagers in that age demographic to post publicly on the site. Previously, teens 13-17 could only share with friends and friends of friends, but now they can share with any users on Facebook.
“Teens are among the savviest people using of social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard,” Facebook wrote in a blog post about the change. “While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services.”
Facebook’s stock was up by more than 15% after hours following the earnings release, but dipped after the comment about teens. It’s now flat.
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