A newly published report claims that younger social media users are abandoning Facebook at a rapid rate in the United States.
A new report from eMarketer claims that the social media platform Snapchat is stealing younger users away from Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram at a rapid rate. eMarketer previously predicted that Facebook would see a 3.4 percent drop in 12- to 17-year-old users in the U.S. in 2017, this was the first time that the digital measurement firm had predicted a drop in that age bracket for the social media platform.
It has now been revealed that eMarketer’s estimates were too low, the reality of the situation is that Facebook’s 12 to 17-year-old demographic declined by 9.9 percent in 2017, which amounts to approximately 1.4 million users. Facebook boasted approximately 12.1 million U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic by the end of 2017
There could be many reasons for Facebook’s decline in popularity amongst the younger generation, part of it may be that Facebook is no longer seen as the “cool” social media platform. With so many other social media apps to choose from, teens do not feel compelled to use Facebook. Snapchat and Instagram have both gained popularity during the time that Facebook’s has declined and seem to have become the go-to apps for teens. Facebook lost approximately 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year, a small amount in comparison to the company’s vast user base but indicative of a general decline in interest for the platform amongst younger Americans.
eMarketer has made the following predictions for Facebook in 2018:
- A 9.3 percent drop for Facebook users under 11 years old. (Reminder: Facebook’s terms of service require that users must be 13 years old in order to create an account, though it’s easy to get around that.)
- A 5.6 percent decline in users between 12 and 17 years old.
- A 5.8 percent decline in users between 18 and 24 years old. This is the first time eMarketer has ever predicted a year-over-year decline in usage for this age group, though it has happened before. In 2016, Facebook’s user base for 18 to 24-year-olds fell by 1.5 percent.
However, eMarketer believes that Facebook’s overall userbase will grow for the next few years. It’s also believed that Facebook-owned app Instagram will grow by 13 percent to 105 million users in 2018. Snapchat is expected to grow by approximately 9 percent to 86.5 million users.