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It Doesn't Matter If Teens Are 'Fleeing' Facebook

Other than making for a nice headline and a hysterical, even if not entirely accurate, article, I don't think it does.

First, the media -- and some factions of traders and investors -- should learn from the way it handled Facebook's mobile advertising problem. The company could not have been more transparent about what happened. In September 2012's Facebook: A $100 Stock by 2014 If Not Sooner, I laud Zuckerberg for admitting (proper use of the word there) Facebook missed the desktop to mobile transition.

On that news, FB stock dropped for all of a week before beginning its steady march past $50. As an aside, I stand by my $100 prediction, but, please allow me the luxury of removing the "if not sooner" part.

Anyhow, there never was any reason for alarm over what was a very correctable, short-term problem.

Learn from history and, while it's not the same situation as the mobile advertising one, don't blow this teen usage talk out of proportion like everybody else.

First, if this ends up being a problem, it's unlikely to impact Facebook's revenue (or profit) for a long, long time. Advertisers want 18-to-34-year-olds as well nearby demos such as 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. If younger teens aren't using Facebook all that much, it means nothing to the social network's staying power with advertisers for years to come.

So why would you worry -- or sell the stock -- on something that's unlikely to come home to roost, if it even ever does, for years? It makes absolutely no sense.

But, really, who cares what teens -- and, again, it's important to be accurate and specific here by saying "younger teens" -- are doing with Facebook? Not only will it have little, if any, impact on Facebook's advertising business, it's not a reliable predictor of what younger teens will do as they enter the aforementioned attractive demos.

The beauty of Facebook is that it's a daily habit because of how it connects people. There has never been a platform that keeps old friends in touch with one another and provides constant updates for, say, grandparents on what their grandchildren are up to. Laugh all you want, but this -- and the other functions Facebook serves -- are incredibly powerful.

With or without your average snot-nosed, too-cool-for-school 14-year-old awkward boy with acne, this fact and the attendant attractiveness for advertisers to be part of the mix remains.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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