The report of the death of Facebook’s popularity among teens is most definitely an exaggeration, at least according to Mark Zuckerberg.
The narrative posited by various recent studies is that Facebook is just not cool anymore, and teens specifically have been migrating to other social platforms. In Wednesday’s Facebook earnings call, Zuckerberg denied this claim, stating that teens’ use of Facebook has held steady over the past year-and-a-half.
“One specific demographic I want to address is U.S. teens. There has been a lot of speculation and reporting that fewer teens are using Facebook. But based on our data, that just isn’t true. It’s difficult to measure this perfectly, since some young people lie about their age. But based on the best data we have, we believe that we are close to fully penetrated in the U.S. teen demographic for a while, and the number of teens using Facebook on both a daily and monthly basis has been steady over the past year-and-a-half,” said Zuckerberg.
“Teens also remain really highly engaged using Facebook. Now it’s also worth mentioning that these stats are for Facebook only. Instagram is growing quickly, as well, so if you combine the two services together, we believe our engagement and share of time spent are likely growing quickly throughout the world.”
Of course, Facebook is going to face saturation issues in general (1.15 billion monthly active users now) – so the fact that teen use isn’t growing shouldn’t be that surprising. But as long as it at least holds, Facebook can rest assured that teens aren’t getting bored with it.
This year, multiple reports have emerged that say teens are, in fact, abandoning ship. Earlier this year, one such survey of teen social media use saw Tumblr surpass Facebook for the first time ever. More recently, a Piper Jaffray survey echoed those findings. It said that Facebook was the most popular social network for 33% of teens, down from 42% back in the Fall of last year.