Skeptics of Facebook’s business model have long pointed to anecdotal evidence that the social network is losing its luster with teens as evidence that the firm will ultimately be unable to justify its $140 billion valuation. Indeed, even Facebook itself admitted last fall that it had lost younger users. “We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens,” Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman said during a call with analysts.
But it’s always been difficult to gauge exactly what the magnitude of this lost interest has been. A new report from iStrategy Labs draws from Facebook’s Social Advertising platform to glean exactly how many young users have left the social network in recent years. The resulting estimates are pretty staggering. According to iStrategy, Facebook has 4,292,080 fewer high-school aged users and 6,948,848 college-aged users than it did in 2011.
Specifically with ages 13-17, Facebook has lost over 25% of its users in the past three years.
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