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Facebook’s Strong Q3 Is Overshadowed by Fleeing Teen Users



nlf0nHMFacebook reported their Third Quarter 2013 results this week and for a few hours the world was good.

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 728 million on average for September 2013, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 874 million as of September 30, 2013, an increase of 45% year-over-year. Mobile DAUs were 507 million on average for September 2013.

Revenue for the third quarter of 2013 totaled $2.02 billion, an increase of 60%, compared with $1.26 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

  • Revenue from advertising was $1.80 billion, a 66% increase from the same quarter last year.
  • Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 49% of advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2013.
  • Payments and other fees revenue was $218 million for the third quarter of 2013.

With mobile ad revenue leading the charge, stock prices rose to a record high of $56 a share.

Then Facebook’s chief financial officer David Ebersman came along and messed it all up:

“Our best analysis of youth engagement in the U.S. reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable,” Ebersman said, noting that adolescents’ tendency to fib about their age makes any analysis tricky. However, he added, “we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.”

And then shares began to drop. Some analysts called it an “overreaction” and I must agree. Advertisers covet those young views and I don’t fully get it. Are teens really spending that much money on goods? Is there really no one else worth marketing to on Facebook?

The reality is that the more popular Facebook becomes, the less teens will want to be involved. It’s not in their nature (or the nature of the generation before them or before them) to hang out where their mom and their teacher hangs out.

Maybe what Facebook needs to do is develop a social network that is extremely teen oriented and a off-putting to adults – like say. . . Instagram!

Drop in stock prices or not, Facebook’s doing just fine. Advertising is up, mobile is gold and more people are logging on daily to see what their friends are up to.

What do you think? Would it concern you if teens gave up Facebook all-together or is there value in us older folks?

  • aybecker

    correct me if im wrong, but don’t teenagers not have money? who cares about that demographic. as a shareholder of Facebook, I care about them:

    1) Increasing their active user base on a daily/monthly/quarterly/annual basis, which they did

    2) Growing top line revenues and bottom line profit margins, which they did

    3) Creating new products, refining existing products from both a UX and conversion standpoint, which they have most certainly done, especially on mobile

    4) Start to monetize Instagram, which could generate as much ad revenue as Twitter does next year in my opinion, which they slowly have started to roll out

    All in all, they are doing just fine without teens…and they’ll come back one day for one reason or another