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Instagram Fretted About Retaining, Engaging Teenagers: NY Times

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(Bloomberg) -- The photo-sharing app Instagram spent time focusing on how to retain and engage teenagers, New York Times reported, citing internal documents.

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Facebook Inc.-owned Instagram was privately worried potentially losing teenage users to other social-media platforms, calling it an “existential threat,” according to a marketing presentation for 2018, the year it reached one billion users, the paper reported on Saturday.

Separately, a strategy memo from October 2020 focused on the marketing plan for that year, noting that “if we lose the teen foothold in the U.S. we lose the pipeline,” according to the newspaper.

Starting in 2018 Instagram directed almost all its marketing at teens, mostly through the use of digital ads. This year the platform’s marketing budget is $390 million, the New York Times reported, versus $67.2 million in 2018.

Instagram didn’t provide a comment to the newspaper.

Facebook has faced anger from U.S. lawmakers recently following reports by the Wall Street Journal that suggested the social network was aware that Instagram could pose mental health risks to young users, such as anxiety and depression.

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