Snapchat and other mobile-only social networks are drawing away the attention of young teenagers from Facebook.
Facebook CFO David Ebersman admitted on the company’s latest earnings call that Facebook dropped its number of daily active users, especially the age group that includes young teenagers.
He introduced his statement, however, by saying that overall Facebook usage among teenagers in the U.S was stable between the second and third quarters of 2013.
Although Ebersman seem to have appeased some stockholders and analysts, it is a first for Facebook to acknowledge the difficulty and threat it has of losing young teenagers to other social networking service providers.
In reaction to Facebook figures and data presented by other sources to corroborate the decline in Facebook usage among teens, Ebersman said it is of “questionable significance” and the company shared the current trend only to answer questions it is receiving about teens.
The admission on low-spirited facts about young teens dropping interest on the world’s largest social network is the exact opposite of what the company announced from the last quarter.
In July, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg refuted speculations and reports about the decline in Facebook usage among teens.
In September, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel announced at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF that the number of photos and videos, also called “snaps,” uploaded daily on its platform has reached 350 million – nearly equal to the number of Facebook photos uploaded daily.
Nonetheless, Facebook may claim that more of its users now upload their photos on Instagram, its photo-only social networking service, to downplay the figures on the Facebook.
Industry analyst Ben Bajarin is quick to note that his research reveals Facebook is losing usage among teens in key markets such as the U.S.
Facebook gained billions of dollars in valuation when it had a 15 percent share price increase in after-hours trading due to the strong financial information it announced at around 4PM EST, and then it lost billions, as its stock price started to plummet right after Ebersman made the announcement at around 5:20PM EST.
Before Ebersman’s statement about Facebook usage among teens, the company had beaten estimates by a large margin, as it announced $2.02 billion in revenue, $0.25 EPS, with 49 percent of total ad revenue coming from mobile devices.
The latest happenings for Facebook may mean good fortune for Snapchat, especially with AllThingsD and the Wall Street Journal reporting that Snapchat is mulling over a $200 million round of funding at a valuation between $3 billion and $4 billion.
The drop in Facebook usage among teens may largely be due to public scrutiny, with posts criticized by adults and peers and biases posing a threat to future job opportunities, whereas Snapchat provides only a few seconds for other people to see the images they upload and eventually disappears from cyberspace.
In the digital age, teens have become the trendsetters when it comes to the latest technologies and online services, so Facebook has to take careful consideration on its grip over young teens; or else, the rest of the social network’s user base may start to use it less frequently.