SHAFAQNA – Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) ever-populous social networking site may be getting boring for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17, according to a report by Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. The report states the number of 13 to 17-year-old users dropped to 88% this year, from 94% in 2013 and 95% in 2012. This is not to suggest that the age group has altogether decided to engage less on social networking platforms, as their usage on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and messaging app WhatsApp has increased.
Facebook’s management first rang the alarm bell for investors a year ago, when it discovered the number of teenage users was declining. However, the company avoided discussing the disinterest among teens in its recent earnings calls as last year’s disclosure worried investors.
Now though, the issue is a bigger concern and needs to be dealt with.
Managing director of Frank N. Magid Associates, Tero Kuittinen, stated: “You look at Facebook and you say, ‘Wow, something really changed in 2014,’ If kids are starting to use so much of their daily time on messaging apps, surely it’s going to hurt somebody.”
User percentage for Twitter climbed 2% among the teenage demographic, resting at 48%, according to the report findings.
Although Facebook and its messaging app have a much larger user base compared to rivals, Facebook’s average user is older compared to other messaging services. 55% of Facebook Messenger users are 37 or younger, while 86% of Snapchat users and 83% of Kik Interactive’s users are younger than 37. Last year, Facebook offered a huge amount of $3 billion to acquire Snapchat but the offer was rejected.
There can be many reasons why teens are losing interest in Facebook’s offerings. For one, a primary concern of users is that Facebook is not safe or trustworthy anymore as infringement of privacy is easily committed on the platform.
A survey asked the age bracket to associate the word “fun” with a social website, which resulted in “fun” being aligned with Pinterest more than Facebook. Concurring with the sentiments, Mr. Kuittinen remarked: “Facebook has been so deeply embedded in the lives of the people that the fade is going to be slow, people just start being vaguely dissatisfied and then after a while they stop using it.”
In recent years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has aimed to diversify his company’s offerings beyond the main Facebook site. The acquisition of Instagram in 2012 was a step in that direction, and this year the company acquired WhatsApp Inc. for an astounding $19 billion.
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