MENLO PARK (CBS SF) – Facebook will mark 10 years since its creation Tuesday, and despite an estimated 1.2 billion friends and $153 billion market cap there are plenty of folks eager to predict the end for Mark Zuckerberg’s little dorm room project.
A recent Princeton study predicts an 80 percent decline in user base by 2017, and numbers based on Facebook’s Social Advertising platform suggest that Facebook has lost millions of users in their teens and early 20’s over the past three years. But does that youth exodus portend Facebook becoming the new Friendster?
Facebook’s loss of teens was even the talk Monday’s Sarah & Vinnie show on Alice 97.3:
“I talked to the kids I take to yoga and they were just telling me how much they don’t use Facebook and how irrelevant it is, and it was at that moment I was like, ‘alright I gotta go to Instagram’ [which is owned by Facebook],” said on-air personality Hooman.
While the young users may be switching to Twitter or Snapchat, those internal numbers find even larger gains for Facebook among people 25 and older, including nearly 64 percent gain in college alumni on the site – a group that’s both attractive to advertisers and less likely to switch platforms than teens. Even in the tech-saturated Bay Area, the number of Facebook account holders has more than doubled in the last three years.
“You know who’s not going to get off there? Me and everyone I went to high school with. It’s for old people now,” said morning show host Sarah.
The gloom and doom forecasts picked up steam shortly after the company flubbed the 2012 IPO. But the Menlo Park outfit has quietly seen the stock rise in recent months and last week’s earnings report sent the price jumping due to increased revenue from mobile users. So the drop in young users doesn’t appear to be hitting the company’s bottom line yet. In fact, 757 million people signed in at least once a day last quarter, up 22 percent from a year earlier.
KCBS technology reporter Larry Magid says the prevailing wisdom is that Facebook’s unprecedented growth is bound to slow down, but that the company can continue to tweak the platform and attract new users for the forseeable future. We want to know what you think:
Related Story: Calculate how much time you’ve wasted on Facebook