3Q EARNINGS CALL: Has The Teen Exodus From Facebook Begun?

By David Cohen 

BoredTeenager650Hardly a week goes by without news of studies saying that teens are bored with Facebook and moving on to other social networks. After consistently denying this trend, Facebook finally caved during its third-quarter earnings call Wednesday, with Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman admitting to some slippage among daily users in that demographic.

However, Ebersman pointed to the fact that data on users of the social network in that age range tend to be unreliable, and added that Facebook is “fully penetrated” in the demographic.

He said during the earnings call:

I want to say a few words about user engagement on Facebook. As we have said previously, this is a hard issue for us to measure, because self-reported age data are unreliable for younger users. So we have developed other analytical methods to help us estimate usage by age.

Our best synopsis on youth engagement in the U.S. reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable from the second quarter to the third quarter, so we did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.

We won’t typically call out such granular data, especially when it’s of questionable statistical significance given the lack of precision of our age estimates for younger users. But we wanted to share this with you now since we get a lot of questions about teens.

We are pleased that we remain close to fully penetrated among teens in the U.S., our monthly user numbers remain steady, and overall engagement on Facebook remains strong. We will continue to focus our development efforts to build products that drive engagement for people of all ages.

Readers: Is this the start of an alarming trend for Facebook?

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