Zuckerberg dismisses Facebook teen drop-off: 'Just isn't true'

Despite the consistent criticisms aimed at Facebook's inability to hold on to the coveted teen market, CEO Mark Zuckerberg dispels the rumors.

James Martin/CNET

One of Facebook's most speculated hurdles is its failure to keep engaging the highly active teen market, especially now that messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp are seeing massive growth.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has defended the company's lead in the market, and now CEO Mark Zuckerberg has dismissed the criticism entirely.

"It's difficult to measure this perfectly because some young people lie about their age," Zuckerberg said Wednesday during his company's second-quarter earnings call. He went on to note that his social network's reported hemorrhaging of teenagers is not simply exaggerated, but in fact, outright false.

"Based on our data that just isn't true," he said. Zuckerberg added that activity for teens has been steady over the past year and a half, not including Instagram, which if combined with Facebook use, would show an even better metric.

Zuckerberg also took a shot at the notion that alternatives to Facebook are driving down time spent on the site. "You could naively assume that more new services means people spend less time on Facebook," he said. "People on average are spending more time on Facebook than ever before."

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