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Q4 Facebook Advertising Trends-Monetization Wins, Not Teens

Written by: Laurie Cutts, Director of Marketing

Numerous reports suggest that Facebook is losing audience among teens but this doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the social network, nor is it necessarily true. Facebook’s chief financial officer David Ebersman said during the company’s Q3 Facebook earnings call that the social media giant saw a decrease in daily active user engagement in younger teens, and Facebook as a company didn’t any update during the Q4 call last night as reported by Fortune. The takeaway here is that monthly teen usage remains to be strong and when it counts like during the MTV movie awards or the Grammy Awards, Facebook/Instagram is still the leading channel for advertisers to connect with youth.

Monetization by Demographic

But let us beg the question, what’s so great about teens? How many brands would say teens are their #1 source of revenue? In fact, our revenue-per-click data suggests that the teen demographic is the worst monetizing demographic out of everyone!

RPC and CPC, by Age Range


Teens are fickle, they flee in the night and they want niche (meaning there likely won’t be one network that owns 13-19 for the long term). They change so quickly as a demographic and are willing to use multiple networks that this will always be an issue, again, long-term. For Facebook, brands can use Instagram, target the existing teen demo that IS on FB (which is still massive) or look to target their parents and update the messaging. As advertisers, let’s do what we do best and not let the tail wag the dog.

Focus on Value

A recent study revealed that Facebook users in older age groups have grown quickly, and that’s where we’re seeing the budgets:

  • Facebook added 10.8 million adults in the 25 to 34 demographic, a growth of 32.6 percent.
  • In the 35 to 54-year-old demographic, Facebook experienced a 41.4 percent growth, adding 16.4 million new users
  • The biggest growth came among adults over the age of 55. Facebook added 12.4 million new users from this age range, a massive 80.4 percent growth

To better understand how Facebook’s demographic fluctuations have impacted advertisers, we examined Nanigans’ clients Facebook ad budget allocation by Age Range.  We examined ad spend for  traditional age ranges(18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64) as illustrated in the chart below. 65% of ad spend is allocated to ages 25+.

Facebook Budget Allocation, by Age Range


Highlights for Marketers

Just in the U.S. alone, let’s remember the true numbers we’re dealing with according to Mashable:

13 – 17 years old: 9.8M

18 – 24 years old: 42M

25 – 34 years old: 44M

35 – 54 years old: 56M

55+ years old: 28M

Yes, 13-17 is the lowest number, but also the worst monetizing demographic. In addition, influencing power over the household decision maker has never been so strong. Back in 2011 the number of 13 – 17 year olds was 13.1M. Granted a reduction of 13.1M to 9.8M is a noticeable percent change from an investor perspective, however, if your an advertiser 9.8M vs. 13.1M are both appealing numbers to you for this demographic (where else can you target 10M teens with such accuracy?) and now that we’ve seen the usage rates stabilize, advertisers can better predict results and market sizing for campaigns.

Facebook continues to be the most exciting advertising landscape across desktop and mobile for all age ranges, and there’s never been a better time for marketers to think about creative, targeting and optimization at scale.

Want to learn more about Nanigans and how to run profitable Facebook campaigns at scale? Talk to Nanigans today!

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