During Facebook’s third quarter earnings report CFO David Ebersman made a landmark admission:
younger teens are using Facebook less.
Since the big news dropped, there’s been a lot of speculation and chatter: Teens are ditching FB because it has been overtaken by their parents. Or because they’d rather use more image-focused social media, like Instagram or Snapchat. Facebook itself, however, has been rather quiet on the issue.
But not anymore.
AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac chatted with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, about the supposed teen problem.
“I think the reaction to that comment has been blown out of proportion,” she told Isaac. “The vast majority of U.S. teens are on Facebook. And the majority of U.S. teens use Facebook almost every day.”
She said that this isn’t the first time that everyone’s gotten into a tizzy about the clash of adults and young people on Facebook, recalling a “Saturday Night Live” skit several years ago (maybe this one?). She also reiterated Mark Zuckerberg’s assertion that Facebook is done trying to be cool.
Here’s what she said:
One of the challenges we face right now is that we’re a decade old. That means that we’re not the newest. And often, particularly in our space, newer things are shinier and cooler.
And what Mark [Zuckerberg] has said and what we all believe is that we’re not trying to be the coolest. And we’re not trying to be the newest. We’re trying to be the most useful.
I think if you look at the way teenagers continue to use Facebook, we are useful to them.
Sandberg and Isaac also talked about Facebook’s $US3 billion attempt at a Snapchat acquisition. Sandberg said that social sharing market is exploding and that Facebook would rather be in a growing market with strong competitors than a market that was shrinking.
“I think that we’ve show that, even as new services come up, we can continue to grow,” she said.