Looks Like Teens Aren't Dumping Facebook After All

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At the end of the day, Facebook (FB) isn't getting any less popular.

The leading social networking website posted blowout quarterly results on Wednesday after the market close. Revenue soared 63 percent to $2.59 billion, fueled by a 74 percent surge in online advertising.

Facebook closed out the year with 1.23 billion unique monthly users, up from the 1.19 billion unique visitors it was welcoming three months earlier and the 1.06 billion Facebookers it was serving by the end of 2012.

The growth is more dramatic when we eye the daily traffic. A whopping 757 million of the site's registered users are active on the site in a typical day, 22 percent ahead of last year. Seeing daily active users grow at a faster clip than monthly active users is a testament to the growing stickiness of Facebook.

Where are all the skeptics now who said that Mark Zuckerberg was losing touch with teens and young adults?

Teen Scene

To be fair, it was Facebook itself that initiated the chatter about younger users tuning out.

"We did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens," Facebook CFO's conceded during the third quarter conference call three months ago.

Facebook was asked to elaborate on teen engagement trends during Wednesday night's conference call. It didn't provide a whole lot of color. "In terms of teens, we don't have any new data to report today," the CFO said.

However, it's almost impossible to imagine Facebook's financials being this strong in a world where young users were visiting the site less often. Suggesting that they've been abandoning it in favor of sites like Snapchat -- which rebuffed Facebook's bid to acquire it in November for a whopping $3 billion -- flies in the face of Facebook's accelerating growth.

Mobile Mania

Arguing that teens are too glued to their mobile phones to hang out on Facebook's website the way that they did a few years ago also doesn't hold up. Facebook's mobile app is a major part of the Facebook growth story now.

A whopping 945 million of Facebook's users accessed the site through a mobile app in December, 39 percent ahead of where it was with smartphone owners a year earlier. Facebook may make some unpopular moves now and then, but it doesn't seem to be losing traction at all with users of any age.

The Power of Facebook

It's not just about more active users and those members flocking back to the site more often. The engagement is improving.

On a typical day this past quarter, Facebook posts experienced 6 billion likes. That's a 59 percent increase from the 3.8 billion likes it was averaging a day a year earlier.

A major key to the platform's success is the viral nature of Facebook Groups. The dedicated message boards of the past that defined the early years of the Internet have been replaced by Facebook's vibrant communities. There are now 500 million people engaging with Facebook Groups in any given month. This may naturally seem appealing to older users as fraternity brothers and high school alums catch up in private or public groups.

That's not too shabby for a site that was launched just 10 years ago. Yes, Facebook itself isn't even a teenager. The engagement figures point to a site that's getting more addictive with every passing quarter. Fickle teens or not, Facebook's growing too fast to dismiss.

Motley Fool analyst Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days. ​

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6 Comments

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bobsmith99454

For those who don't have a facebook or don't want the new facebook paper app. I suggest using newzit.co as their mobile social media news source. one of the best web apps i've used.

February 03 2014 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ggblank1603

If you don't like FaceBook just don't use it and stop trying to tell everyone else how to live their lives.

February 03 2014 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Denise

Too bad about the teens, and everyone else who uses FB. One day you will learn. Hope it doesn't completely screw up your future/life.

February 03 2014 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
usapaydirt

Ads for Facebook should read, " Avoid being barred from web site interaction, by joining the Facebook Personal Information Register, where you can also post all the intimate details of your personal life as well as your itineraries"

February 03 2014 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rockinghorse2k

WARNING TO ALL DUMP FACEBOOK NOW. Facebook is watching and monitoring everything you do. I was reasearching products for my compony last week and was on my comp email addy responding to a product comment when suddenly my facebook profile picture showed up? WTF . I did not give them permission to use that profile picture . Now after several days iam getting tons of crap advertisiments form all kinds of places. This is a dangerous place ,people post pictures of them selfs and family on there ,it leaves you open to all kinds of scam artists . RUN FORM FACEBOOK NOW

February 03 2014 at 8:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rockinghorse2k's comment
daxcess2

One of the problems with FB and ALL other sites where pictures are posted is that you have given them implicit rights to use your likeness and any of your pictures. If you research places like Shutterfly and read the fine print, you'll see that they can re-post any of your images and use them as they see fit. The legal language is buried in all that tiny type you find on a page you'll never look for unless you know it's there. Any lawyer will tell you to remain neutral in all you post on any social site or picture site.

February 03 2014 at 8:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rayser711

Facebook should be banned.

February 03 2014 at 7:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
suec8

Facebook is lame. MySpace is so 2008. Facebook is so 2010. Google+ is so 2012. SnapChat and Instagram are so 2014. They are all fads. I do NOT agree with the article's conclusion that Facebook is growing too fast to dismiss.
I asked 20 adults in my life if they have a Facebook account. Nineteen said no, and they have NO reason to join Facebook. The only one who said yes was a 34 year old family member. It was a 27 year old family member claimed that Facebook was lame. Our family shares photos using Dropbox and communicates via email.

February 03 2014 at 7:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to suec8's comment
Denise

What's wrong w/ sharing in person, regardless of proximity? One of today's problems, too much electronic separation in families.

February 03 2014 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Denise's comment
usapaydirt

You have schools trying to substitute books with tablets, they take home ( Don't those have cameras ? ) you have schools doing retinal scans of Americas youth. Why ? and for what purpose. If a majority of business one day will be done on the internet, and Facebook becomes the Gatekeeper as it is trying to be, then combine that with their tight relationship with the NSA and you have a recipe for total manipulation of all things public and private.......

February 03 2014 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down