According to internal documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen, Facebook is now misleading its investors and have been covering up their slowing down growth among critical demographics like young users in the US.
According to the new documents, reported bu Bloomberg on Monday, the young people who spend less time on Facebook are less and fewer teens are signing up but instead there are many new teen accounts that are duplicates as opposed to unique new users.
Citing Facebook’s internal research, Bloomblerg said that the people across age groups also aren’t posting too much and it’s not clear why all of this is happening, it’s even unclear to Facebook employees.
While Facebook has studied its declining popularity among young users internally, it has remained quiet about the issue in official investor communications, according to the report, an allegation that forms the basis of Haugen’s whistleblower complaint that Facebook “has misrepresented core metrics to investors and advertisers.”
Teenagers and young adults are important demographics in the advertising market because businesses want to establish relationships with them before they reach their peak income and spending levels.
The documents were among tens of thousands of pages of internal company reports leaked by former employee Haugen. Haugen’s formal whistleblower complaint with the Securities Exchange Commission was based on the internal reports, which were handed over to the agency and Congress, according to Bloomberg.
The documents were then redacted and shared with a group of news outlets, including Bloomberg, who are expected to publish a slew of stories on Monday.
While Facebook’s difficulties in attracting teen users have previously been reported, the new documents claim that a cohort of slightly older “young adults” has been declining for nearly a decade as well.
According to Bloomberg, one internal report from early 2021 states, “There is a [young adult] sharing problem.” “They are choosing other apps to share day-to-day moments and life moments.”
Bloomberg cited documents that included a graph showing that US teenagers’ “time spent” on Facebook was down 16 percent this year compared to 2020.