Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) have touched a new low for 2013 this morning. Today’s overall weak market has something to do with the sell-off, but there could be a couple of other concerns that troubling to investors.
First, a recent report from Pew Research indicates that teens are abandoning Facebook in favor of Twitter due to the increasing adoption of Facebook by adults (including their parents) and for other reasons. How many young people are dumping Facebook is not clear, and with 1 billion users worldwide, Facebook might be expected to lose a few.
But that teen demographic is critical to advertisers seeking to build a solid connection between their products and that audience. Losing teens in any number will likely lead advertisers to ask some tough questions of Facebook ad reps.
Second, Facebook is also apparently getting some competition from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) in a contest to acquire Israel-based Waze, a smartphone traffic app. Mobile apps that deliver location information cause advertisers to salivate uncontrollably. Being able to deliver an ad targeted to a specific person at the very moment that person is looking in a store window is valuable beyond all other things.
With Waze and similar apps, Facebook’s billion users are individually addressable wherever they are. Letting Google grab the company would be a serious blow to Facebook’s mobile ad plans.
Shares of Facebook are down about 2.2% in the early afternoon today, at $24.52 after touching a year-to-date low of $24.32. The stock’s 52-week range is $17.55 to $33.45.