Are Twitter and Tumblr Causing Facebook Panic?
Wednesday at the D: All Things Digital Conference in Ranchos Palos Verdes, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, made it clear that she wasn’t in the dark about the activity of her Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) friends on other rival social networks.
Sandberg explained that she recognizes that many of Facebook’s younger users are increasing their visits to Twitter and Tumblr, evidenced by a report from the Pew Research Center that shows teen social media users doubling to 26 percent on Twitter since 2011. Because that same study reports 94 percent of teen users with Facebook profiles, the social network is now focused on keeping its young members, and attracting more of them, allowing the company to boost advertising revenue and find ways to profit from the site’s more than 1 billion users.
Sandberg remains confident about Facebook’s growing demographic and continued room for growth, as Bloomberg reports her saying, “We are the leaders in a growing market … Do I think there’s time and room for people to do a lot more sharing before we reach the zero sum game? Yes.”
As the company faces dropping shares and declining quarter growth rates, Sandberg explained at the conference Wednesday that Facebook is focusing most of its attention on mobile, and is working on coming out with new products that keep the social network deeply integrated into smartphone devices. In an attempt to encourage users to spend more time on its mobile site, Facebook introduced Home last month, the mobile phone app that replaces the home screen in certain Android smartphones, but it has been met with mixed reviews. Sandberg acknowledges that the new software is very hit or miss, “I think it will be a long road,” she admitted, but added: “[The smartphone is] an incredibly powerful device and social device. We believe that the phone will get reorganized around people.”
Though Facebook’s Home has yet to bear much fruit, another sector that the social network has been putting energy into, the advertising segment of its mobile, has allowed the company to see a 30 percent growth in advertising revenue in the first quarter. While it continues to focus on introducing more effective and applicable ads into users’ news feeds, Facebook is interested first and foremost in improving the ads’ quality, rather than their quantity.
Additionally, Facebook announced Wednesday that it would be introducing a service currently also employed by Twitter. The service uses a small blue check mark to verify pages for celebrities and other well-known people and services, allowing users to find their authentic accounts.