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Facebook profits at risk as teens look elsewhere

Facebook may need to up its game when it comes to attracting teenage members to its site if it wants to continue to post massive profits.

The social media giant admitted for the first time last week that daily use among teenagers has declined.

“I’m into Twitter and Instagram,” said Winnipeg teen Jaqueline Silva. “[I’m] not into Facebook.”

Silva is part of a fickle demographic that is leaning toward other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

“Facebook has just been around so long, it’s the new stuff everyone uses,” added Rachel Lamourie, another Winnipeg teen who believes Facebook has become a little boring.

Worse, according to Lamourie and Silva, is the presence of their parents on Facebook.

While that may not sound like a big problem for a company that posted a $500-million quarterly profit last week, some tech experts are saying it could foretell difficulties down the road.

“Trends that begin with teenagers tend to influence what adults do tomorrow. If teens are losing their interest in Facebook today, who knows who might abandon that platform next year?” said Jesse Brown, a technology blogger for Maclean’s magazine.

One in every seven people on the planet have already signed up for Facebook, Brown said, meaning Facebook doesn’t have a lot of room to grow. If the site doesn’t retain its users and attract new ones, the lack of innovation could take a big bite out of its revenue.