Facebook's Sandberg says teen decline exaggerated

Analysts counter that teens are lured away by Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter

Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg said rumors that the social media company is falling out of favor with teenagers have been greatly exaggerated.

Despite reports that teens are dumpingFacebook for other sites like Instagram and Snapchat, Sandberg said the social network's teen user base is stable, according to a report in All Things D.

"The vast majority of U.S. teens are on Facebook," Sandberg, the company's chief operating officer, said in the interview. "And the majority of U.S. teens use Facebook almost every day."

Earlier this month, David Ebersman, Facebook's chief financial officer, stirred up a talk when he said, during the company's quarterly earnings call, that the social network is struggling to keep teenagers' attention.

"We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens," said Ebersman, who went on to call the network's teen user base "stable."

Mobile ad spending leaps at Facebook
Facebook ad spend up as marketers favour the platform over Twitter
Interview: Facebook's Helen Crossley on data-driven insights

This isn't a new problem , but it appears to be getting worse for Facebook, which originally was launched for college students. Now, Facebook appears to be getting more traction from users with gray hair than those facing mid-term exams.

"I think [Sandberg] is covering," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "I think teens are using Twitter and Instagram more. I have six teens, and I can say from experience they're losing interest [in Facebook]."

Why aren't Kerravala's kids using Facebook more? It's because he's on Facebook, and for teenagers, having Mom and Dad using the same site detracts from any site's cool factor.

"Sure, I think it's because I'm on Facebook," Kerravala said. "I think Facebook is now thought of as an older generation tool. They don't want parents, grandparents, teachers, etc., seeing what they are posting. Teens want a closed community of other teens."

Christian Perry, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said the social networking market is swimming with options, from which teenagers can choose.

Sandberg, according to the report, admitted that's an issue, saying, "One of the challenges we face right now is that we're a decade old. That means that we're not the newest. And often, particularly in our space, newer things are shinier and cooler."

At 10 years old, Facebook is not the new kid on the block. Instead, sites like Facebook-owned Instagram, along with Snapchat and Twitter, are capturing a lot of users' -- especially younger users' -- attention.

"Others are ready to step into a void that might occur when Facebook loses its allure for teens," said Perry. "Then factor in some of the unique mobile-driven social media alternatives, and Facebook is no doubt facing competition out there."

This article, Facebook's Sandberg says teen decline exaggerated, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 EN590Dear Buyer/ Buyer mandate,We currently have Available FOB Rotterdam/Houston for JP54,D2, D6,JetA1 with good and w...

Collins Johnson

Oath to fully acquire Yahoo7 from Seven West Media

Read more

Great content and well explained. Everything you need to know about Digital Design, this article has got you covered. You may also check ...

Ryota Miyagi

Why the art of human-centred design has become a vital CX tool

Read more

Interested in virtual events? If you are looking for an amazing virtual booth, this is definitely worth checking https://virtualbooth.ad...

Cecille Pabon

Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing such an informative article. It’s really impressive.Click Here & Create Status and share with family

Sanwataram

Predictions: 14 digital marketing predictions for 2021

Read more

Nice!https://www.live-radio-onli...

OmiljeniRadio RadioStanice Uzi

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system

Read more

Blog Posts

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Should your business go back to the future?

In times of uncertainty, people gravitate towards the familiar. How can businesses capitalise on this to overcome the recessionary conditions brought on by COVID? Craig Flanders explains.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

Sign in