Facebook has admitted that teen interest in the popular social media website is waning, even though the number of users grew marginally in the last quarter.
"We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens," admitted Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman during the company's third-quarter financial results conference call with analysts.
Ebersman's admission comes despite the claim of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg that it "just isn't true" that the company has a problem attracting and retaining teen users.
Anecdotal evidence has indicated that teenagers are more likely to use WhatsApp for direct communications with friends, or Google+ for Facebook-like communication - because no one else uses it and they won't, therefore, have to "friend" their parents.
However, that decrease in teen activity has not yet shown up in a decline in overall user numbers. The company said that the number of active users increased from 1.15 billion to 1.19 billion in the three months to the end of September, while the company counted 507 million as active daily mobile users. Daily active users, according to the company, were 728 million, which the company said represented a 25 per cent year-on-year increase.
The admission during Facebook's third quarter results presentation overshadowed the announcement of record revenues. It said that revenues had increased from $3.5bn in the same quarter in 2012 to $5.286bn this year - an increase of just over 50 per cent. Net income weighed in at $977m.
The company attributed the big increase in revenues to mobile advertising which, it said, increased by 66 per cent to $1.8bn. It also improved its operating margins substantially, from 30 per cent to 37 per cent.