Whistleblower: Facebook tried to hide teen usage drop from investors


While Facebook has spent years studying its declining popularity among young people – an erosion that threatens the company’s advertising business, which has conquered an estimated 23.7% of the global digital ad market – Facebook executives have been markedly less forthcoming about those concerns in public. — AP

In March, a group of researchers inside Facebook Inc compiled a report for one of the company’s most powerful executives, chief product officer Chris Cox. The paper included a series of charts and data highlighting a troubling trend that seemed to be accelerating: Facebook was losing popularity with teens and young adults.

One colourful graphic showed that “time spent” for US teenagers on Facebook was down 16% year-over-year, and that young adults in the US were also spending 5% less time on the social network. The number of new teen signups was declining, and perhaps most concerning was a series of slides showing that young people were taking much longer to join Facebook than they had in the past.

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