Facebook admits decrease in usage among young teens

A "like" sign at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
A “like” sign at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook Inc. for the first time on Wednesday acknowledged it may have a challenge in holding the attention of young people.

Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that Facebook had seen a decrease in daily usage among younger teens.

He also said that usage among U.S. teens overall was “stable” during the second and third quarters.

Facebook has consistently said over the years that usage among teens is increasing. In July, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said, “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.”


“This is of questionable significance,” Ebersman said of the decrease. “But we wanted to share this with you now because we get a lot of questions about teens.”

Snapchat, a service popular with teens that Facebook tried to buy, reported in September that 350 million “snaps” (photos and videos) are sent each day.

As we noted in May 2012, this is a “very grown-up challenge for Facebook, which needs kids to continue to dominate social networking.”


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