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Facebook May Be Losing Teens, But It Won’t Lose Brands

Andrew Jones

Facebook may be losing teens (/the cool kids), but contrary to some beliefs, 2014 will not be a dire year for the company.

In fact, brands will capitalize on some big opportunities that Facebook presents to make significant business contributions. In particular, they will take advantage of lookalike ad targeting, ad targeting based on existing customer email lists, and gain more insights about their existing customers by leveraging Facebook data.

Mobile apps like Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, WeChat, Line, and others are all the talk right now as they pick up users (young ones in particular), but don’t yet have the same rich data or advertising options to offer brands. Obviously audience matters, so if Facebook is losing teens (or rather not attracting new ones) and tastemakers, that’s an important trend to follow. But a single trend can’t be seen as conclusive evidence that Facebook is about to become irrelevant—especially to brands—because it’s far from game over.

In its "2014 State of Marketing report" published just last week, ExactTarget found that 55% of the 2,500 marketers surveyed plan to increase spending on social advertising, whereas only 2% plan to decrease spending. Facebook is the most important social platform almost any way you look at it – overall revenue, total users, active users, time on site, engagement, etc. It’s also the most mature, with far more data about users and much more information to target them.

All in all, I’d say 2014 looks pretty good for the social giant.