Teenagers are ditching Facebook in favor of other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, according to a new report.
“Social networking leader Facebook will see its user growth continue to slow in both countries [United States and United Kingdom] as lessening usage among teens and young adults drags down overall user growth,” reported eMarketer this week. “eMarketer has reduced its usage estimates for US monthly Facebook users ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 24. Yet for the same age groups, we have kept unchanged or adjusted higher our usage estimates for Snapchat and Instagram, suggesting younger social network users are turning away from Facebook in favor of other platforms.”
Despite this, “Facebook’s community of monthly users in the US will grow 2.4% this year to 172.9 million people,” which eMarketer attributes to an increase in older Internet users.
“But the social network’s monthly user base among the marketer-coveted 12 to 17 age group will fall 3.4% vs. 2016 to 14.5 million people—the second consecutive year of expected usage declines by this group and one that will have accelerated from the 1.2% slip seen in 2016,” they explained. “Monthly Facebook usage among those under 12 and ages 18 to 24 will grow more slowly than previously forecast, too.”
eMarketer Senior Forecasting Analyst Oscar Orozco claimed in the report that they “see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram.”
“Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate—that is, using visual content. Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged—logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform,” he continued. “At the same time, we now have ‘Facebook-nevers’—children aging into the tween demographic who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.”
Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at eMarketer, added it’s “fortunate” that Facebook “owns Instagram, which remains a strong platform for teens.”
“Although usage of the main Facebook app is declining among teens, marketers will still be able to reach them on Instagram,” she proclaimed.