Just 88% of US 13 to 17-year-olds US use Facebook, down from 94% in 2013, while the shift towards messaging apps continues, according to research from Frank N Magid. While the attraction of the likes of Whatsapp is one of the reasons the demographic is moving on, there are other issues - just 9% of those surveyed are able to describe Facebook as ‘safe’ or ‘trustworthy’. Facebook owns WhatsApp, of course, so the Social Network probably isn’t too concerned about a user fade that’s likely to be pretty gradual.
Then again, Facebook hasn’t yet worked out how to make WhatsApp pay, or to make it look like it’s worth anything near its $18 billion valuation. Facebook’s other major social acquisition, Instagram, is now valued at $35 billion, and it can boast more than 300 million users, along with an average of 70 million photos shared and 2.5 billion likes posted every day. Citigroup said recently that Instagram is ’quickly gaining monetisation traction’ which, to the rest of the world, means it isn’t pulling in much by way of revenues but it is growing from a small base. No revenue figures are to hand, of course.
By the way, social yay-sayers believe the reason Instagram is performing so tepidly on the money-side is that Facebook hasn’t really put its mind to the issue yet. But when Zuck and the gang finally do so…
It’s likely that Instagram will be able to pull in the advertising dollars, given its focus on images. WhatsApp will be a tougher nut to crack.