What the Facebook IPO filing misses: age demographics
I keep hearing in my travels that the young folk (teens and tweens) are using Tumblr alot. Tumblr, indeed, is on a roll.
In the context of Facebook's IPO filing, I went looking for age demographics in its S-1 filing with the SEC.
Guess what? It wasn't there.
With 800+ million worldwide users, Facebook is gargantuan. But the social networking giant hardly gave insight into the demographic undercurrents driving the website's growth, in terms of age.
If I were investing in Facebook, I'd like to see more reporting on their age demographic trends. How fast are their various age segments growing? What is user activity among 18-25 year-olds like? What is your most engaged age demographic from a daily-average/monthly-average user perspective?
The only on-point statement I found the filing that addresses the younger demographic is the following: "We also believe that younger users have higher levels of engagement with the web and mobile devices in general and with Facebook specifically. We anticipate that demographic trends over the long term may contribute to growth in engagement as a greater number of users will come from demographic groups that have grown up with the web and mobile devices and who spend more time online every day." (page 46)
To me, one of the biggest competitive threats to Facebook is what online tools a 13 year old is using today to share their lives with friends.
Back in 2008, this chart I found on Myspace and other networks showed that 0-17 year olds were its largest demographic. Next largest? 45-54. And women dominated the site more than men.
AOL was once pretty omnipotent. But guess what? A new generation adopted new tools and new sites. Sure, people are still using AOL (dialup, no less), but AOL is a shadow of its former self.
Another random thought: Facebook has grown, in large part, thanks to women users. Look at the user stats from the above link (yes, this one). There are more women using Facebook than men in every age category.
That's pretty impressive. Women control many household purse strings. They are financial decision makers. I'm not saying this with any gender bias. But women increasingly really are decision makers, and advertisers recognize that. This is a feather in Facebook's cap.
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