You won’t find a lot of reasons why people hate Facebook, except that it’s really easy to use. The proof is in its numbers: The social network, which now counts 2.3 billion users, most of whom are teenagers and twentysomethings, last week announced that it now brings in at least $40 billion in revenue each year. That’s the most money for any company in the world—and the big question is: Just how much longer can it continue to be that big?
Facebook has already started to draw in an older audience, and even older than Facebook: It reached 70 million teens in the U.S. this past summer. That’s triple the teens that Facebook attracted two years ago. We’re still kids, and only occasionally behave like adults. But for young people, Facebook’s relatively safe environment and its easy way of staying connected (even if they don’t use its texting app, Messenger) have become big draws.
Take a look at the teens’ profiles. Since teens still only make up the smallest percentage of Facebook’s users, the network is still young and fuzzy for the more mature set. Youth pose a threat, not just because they remain young in the pecking order but because the network can’t afford to miss them. If the teens drift away, Facebook would lose its most valuable customers.