SmartMoney Blogs

Real-Time Advice
Our real-time advice on how market shifts and news impact you and your money

Why Facebook Wants to Friend Your Tween

Facebook has good reason to allow the tween set join the site, experts say: Users 11 to 13 are simply worth more to the company’s bottom line than adults.

The social network is exploring ways to officially admit members under age 13, the Wall Street Journal reports. Opening its doors to children would help satisfy certain regulatory and privacy issues posed by the large number of underage users who sneak onto the site. But experts say Facebook’s is actually more interested in finding new ways of reaching  Mom and Dad’s wallet. “Tweens are the most valuable demographic for Facebook,” says Charles Sankowich, CEO of location-based mobile app “They are ad-friendly, game-friendly and more likely to show a lifelong brand loyalty when they are so young.”

Indeed, studies have shown that the nation’s 20 million tweens are big, predictable spenders. They fork over $50 billion a year, not including the additional $170 billion their parents spend on them, according to Alloy Marketing. What do the spend it on? About 40% of tweens buy apparel and footwear,  40% buy consumer electronics and toys and 30% purchase video games, according to a recent Youth Markets Alert survey. Of course, they also like to fit in, says Larissa Faw, editor at Youth Markets Alert, a trade publication. “Tweens will go where the cool people are and that place is Facebook.”

Analysts also point out that younger kids are less easily put off by online ads and more likely to play video games – the two main drivers of Facebook’s growth strategy. In fact, there’s very little e-commerce on Facebook except for games, says Michael Fertik, CEO and founder of Facebook said last month that 15% of its revenue came from either advertising or games tied to Zynga. “Because kids play games, they’re very valuable to Facebook,” he says. A spokeswoman for Facebook says the company is in the midst of ongoing discussions with regulators and other policymakers “about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment.”

That’s not to say tweens are pushovers, Faw says. Because this age group is increasingly savvy about finding deals online, she says Facebook will need to be more creative in how it presents games and other products. One option: find an entertaining way to integrate sponsored advertising into user profiles rather than just news feeds, a switch she says would be more acceptable to tweens than adults. What’s more, parents typically monitor and limit the time their children spend on the Internet, Faw says, which means less time buying Zynga games and being targeted with advertisements for the latest Hannah Montana CD.

Still, Sankowich says tweens are a good long-term bet for Facebook. “The value of building on a brand’s recognition from a young age is priceless,” he says.


We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 7)

View all Comments »
    • By WebOsPublisher

      Hardware Icons. A variety of computer hardware depicted in common size custom and stock icons. Download icons for motherboard,CPU,case,fan,drive,harddisk,network adapter,and many others with Hardware Icon Set.
      Hardware Icons. Custom and Stock Icons of Harddisk, Drive etc.
      document.write(‘Select Language ‘);
      // end hiding contents –
      Other icons
      PDF Catalog
      Hardware Icon Set is a collection of pre-made high quality icons representing various hardware items: computer, laptop, monitor, floppy drive, sound card, USB flash drive and others. All pictures share the same consistent classic style with prevalence of blue colors.
      The collection is distributed in the BMP, PNG, GIF and ICO formats. Each icon was produced in 16×16, 24×24, 32×32 and 48×48 sizes. The collection includes both 256-colors (suitable for old Windows versions) and full-color transparent icons (for Windows XP and Vista).
      Classic Hardware Icon Set
      Network card
      Sound card
      Video card
      Memory chip
      Light on
      Light off
      Computer frame
      CRT monitor
      LCD monitor
      Dot-matrix printer
      Laser printer
      Print preview
      Search computer
      Find in computer
      USB flash drive
      Pen drive
      PCIMCI card
      Radio transmitter
      Portable radio transmitter
      Network connection
      Network group
      Network structure
      Network computer
      Data transmission
      CD drive
      Floppy drive
      Secure device
      Card reader
      Mobile phone
      Telephone receiver
      Card reader terminal
      Card terminal
      Cash register
      ATM machine
      Barcode scanner
      Fingerprint scanner
      Fingerprint scan
      Login v2
      Game steering wheel
      MP3 player
      TV tuner
      Female screw
      Repair computer
      Network tool
      Credit card
      Credit cards
      VISA card
      Smart card
      Download demo icons
      Purchase this icon set now!
      You can also buy individual icons to suit your needs. Each icon is $5 when purchased individually. Please contact us with the icon names you wish to purchase and we will process your order immediately. (Note: Minimum purchase is 2 icons.)
      Get individual icons now!
      You can order a collection of icons with only some of the available sizes, e.g. 24×24 and 32×32. In this case you will get a discount off the usual price.
      All of the icons above are available in the following image formats:
      Hardware Icons Depict Computer Hardware Items and Can Be Used for Effective Meaning
      Hardware icons can be used to depict the hardware items present in a computer system. They cover harddisk icon, drive icons, laptop icon, memory chip icon, processor icon, etc. These stock icons can be further edited and they will then become custom icons which can be used in your software or application.
      Hardware icons set is a collection of pre-made high quality icons representing various hardware component items in a computer – memory card, sound card, USB flash drive, floppy drive, monitor and other components. The hardware icons can be used to represent hardware components in your software or application. These pictures in icon forms are based on a classic blue color scheme and will surely look good and also convey the meaning effectively to the user in question.
      The creation of icons requires both creative as well as technical skills. The purpose and manner of intended usage of the icons should also be taken into consideration when designing icons. The icon designers have already taken all these into account while creating the icon set comprising of hardware icons.
      The hardware icons set comprises icons like harddisk icon, drive icons, memory chip icon, video card icon, sound card icon, motherboard icon, pen drive icon, Bluetooth icon, wi-fi icon, etc. These can be used royalty-free in any appropriate software application package or even in a web application to convey intended meanings about hardware to the user in question.
      Both power users and casual users appreciate the use of icons for depicting concepts using stock icons and custom icons in the software application or system. They serve as visual aids in understanding and comprehension of what each and every function of the software is for.
      The custom icons such as harddisk icon, drive icons, etc. can be used to denote the state of the hard disk, whether the application is accessing the disk, etc. by appropriately displaying the icons in the status bar.
      The stock icons such as battery, mouse, trackball, joystick, MP3 player, TV, UPS, GPS, etc. can be used to convey effective meaning to the user interface elements of the software application that is being designed.
      Hence it is high time that software designers purchase and use ready made icon collections in packages in order to use icons in their desktop and web based applications.
      Icon Software | Graphic Software | Icons Downloads | Order Icons | Windows Icon Sets | Support
      Copyright © 2000-2012 Aha-Soft. All rights reserved.
      Individual Ready Icons
      You can buy individual icons to suit your needs. Each icon is $5 when purchased individually.
      Icon Usage Agreement
      Any database software needs our Database Software Icons set. It contains images in four file formats, eight sizes and two color schemes.
      More info
      Business Software Icons set includes all the graphics you need to design your on-line store or trading application. The set can be instantly accessed for preview, demo download of three icons in porvided.
      More info
      Perfect Database Icons are the best graphics you can find for developing user interface of your next database related application. All the typical toolbar sizes are provided.
      More info
      Security Icons pack provides you with quality icons for any security related software or Web project. The set contains symbols for Database, Record, Security, Link, Data filter, etc.
      More info
      Everything you need to design a toolbar of your database management application is included in the Database Toolbar Icons pack. The images are provided in three states: normal, highlighted and disabled.
      More info

    • Jul25 Hey,Stopped by because your blog renurted in one of my daily searches. Good topic and one that I am closely attached to. Kids give way too much information on MySpace and the Internet because to them ite2€™s just there. They do not comprehend the scale to which their information is available to others. They done2€™t comprehend a world that stretched beyond the backyard or computer screen. Parents need to monitor. Ite2€™s as simple as that. If every parent even mildly monitored their childe2€™s activity, there would be no cyberbullying and no Internet predators (well, successful ones anyway). Of course, we recommend our title

    • People with children probably tell them not to even talk to strangers, never mind give them personal information. With Facebook, children will be telling a stranger everything about themselves and that includes who their parents are.

      At one time Facebook may have been fun and great for Betty White’s career – but face it, it’s one big commercial that watches you.

About Real-Time Advice

  • How breaking news — in the markets, Washington, and around the world — affects you and your money. Have a question about how current events may change your financial future? Email us at