Teens have lost interest in Facebook, report

15 February, 2018, 02:24 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • Facebook users Snapchat UK study social networks US active users teen smartphone usage Facebook teen popularity EMarkerter study Snapchat Stories parental control Facebook Messenger for Kids Apple

The research firm said it expected the first-ever decline in the 18-24 age group in the U.S., a drop of 5.8 per cent this year. That means that for the first time, less than half of USA internet users in that age group are expected to use Facebook at least once a month in 2018.

This demographic shift has been on the Facebook radar for some time now, but previously the brand could rely on platform shifters to move to Instagram, which Facebook also owns. On the other hand, Snapchat will be used by 43% of these younger users, more than double the rate of three years ago. In 2018, 83% of social network users aged 18-24 will be Facebook users, this share will drop to 81.5% by 2021.

The number of U.S. Facebook users who are 11 and younger will decline by 9.3 percent in 2018, the survey said. What's more, some of the youngest kids in the USA will bypass signing up for Facebook altogether, a group dubbed the "Facebook nevers".

The report adds that while Facebook has so far been able to keep hold of younger users as they switch to other services such as Instagram, which it bought in 2012 for US$1bn, defectors are now increasingly heading to rival Snapchat.

The research firm released Facebook usage estimates for 2018 on Monday, and expects that Facebook will lose about 2.1 million users in the US under the age of 25 this year.

Overall about 2.8 million USA users under the age of 25 stopped using Facebook.

While Facebook is still adding users overall, most of these are in older age groups.

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Of course, "that's the predicament Facebook is in", Williamson notes.

Still, for a company like Snapchat that's confronting the Facebook empire, any gains help.

While the number of teen users dropped considerably between 2015 and 2016, 13.57% more seniors (65+) joined the platform, from 13.3 million in 2015 to 15.1 in 2015.

A survey in the United States previous year appeared to support this theory, finding that among teenagers, Snapchat was far and away the most popular social network.

But the fact that eMarketer is predicting declines across the board is a bad sign for Facebook regardless.

Facebook use among those younger than 12 will decline 9.3% in 2018, eMarketer predicts. But now, they are flocking to Snapchat, and the ephemeral photo-sharing app's recent redesign is expected to accelerate this exodus. Facebook wants youngsters who can be sold to in future years, when they are going through middle age and making bigger purchasing decisions.

But Snapchat could end up facing a similar problem as it seeks to increase its user base and reach all ages.


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