Techcrunch seems worried that teens are leaving Facebook and that once they do, Facebook will collapse. There’s a very wide leap between the first part of that sentence and the second. Even assuming that teens are actually using Facebook less and younger teens not signing up at all, I doubt that Facebook will collapse.
Let’s assume that teens are leaving. What can Facebook do from the product perspective?
1. Find something teens will like. Easier said than done and already attempted by Facebook. One example is Instagram Direct, which was an attempt to attract the Snapchat crowd and didn’t really take off.
2. Ignore teens, build products for an older group.
This makes more sense with Facebook’s current overwhelming adoption rate by the older audience. Pew Research mentions that 71% of online adults (age 18+) use Facebook. That’s an incredibly high percentage. Why not build products that they will like?
Facebook’s Paper app, launched this week, seems to do that by curating news stories. It seems targeted at an older audience.
Also, since the 35-64 age group is the one that spends the most money, and Facebook wants to make money from advertising, why not start targeting that demographic?
Facebook is not a start-up. It can afford to put development dollars in different products for different groups. Why not try building products for adults?