Teens spend a ton of time online everyday digesting news posted by friends from sites like Facebook and Twitter. In the rapidly expanding digital media age of today, people want their news fast, simple, and most importantly, private. For Facebook, this means buying out their competitors, even if they lose advertising revenue.
In a recent article posted on CNET, the rapid decline of Facebook’s teen crowd was explored. According to the article, many kids are finding that their time spent on Facebook is simply too public for their tastes. Parents and even grandparents are using the site now, wanting to interact more than ever with their extended family.
Teens are instead migrating to sites like Instagram, which Facebook impulsively bought for an approximate $715 million. Why this is so interesting from a business perspective however is that Instagram has no real advertising model. Facebook is pouring all of its attention to an application that they do not yet seem to understand, or at least how to exploit it for profit.
According to Nielsen, a company that analyzes consumers and their activity, Instagram was the “top photography Web site among U.S. teens ages 12 to 17, with 1.3 million teens visiting the site during December 2012.” Astonishingly, they concluded that approximately one in 10 teens with internet access visited Instagram in December of 2012.
Facebook would be wise to find out how to advertise and take advantage of the ever-growing teen market that is now under their control. Figuring out online advertising is a constant uphill battle for online companies, even for Facebook.