Inside Facebook’s struggle to keep young people

Facebook internally measures its user base against population estimates from the United Nations for specific countries. If the social network has the same amount of monthly users in an age bracket as what the estimates say for that region, it’s fully saturated. The presentation to Cox explained that the average Facebook user age “has been increasing disproportionately to the average population age over time. If this continues, [the Facebook app’s] average age will continue to increase, potentially disengaging younger users even more.”

  • At the same time, a rising crop of younger social networks has continued growing in popularity with young people – a phenomenon Facebook has closely tracked with its own research.
  • Losing young people wasn’t always the existential threat for the blue Facebook app that it is now, according to Michael Sayman, a 25-year-old former product manager for youth products who joined the company in 2014 when he was just 17.
  • For now, Facebook isn’t even sure if its plans to win back young people are enough.
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