Is Facebook losing its attractive for young users?

15 February, 2018, 06:12 | Author: Becky Perry
  • Facebook's Teen Drain       The social network has a tougher time convincing British kids to join              Source EMarketer Inc

"Snapchat could eventually experience more growth in older age groups, since it's redesigning its platform to be easier to use", eMarketer's Debra Aho Williamson said in Monday's report.

An August eMarketer analysis suggested teens and tweens found Snapchat and Instagram more appealing for their visual content, while those still left on Facebook seemed to be less engaged with the platform. In August, the research firm predicted that in 2017 the 12 to 17 age group would decline 3.4%.

Facebook's Instagram should absorb some of these losses - but not all of them. Of the 2 million US users under 25 that eMarketer estimates Facebook will drop this year, it sees Instagram catching only 1.6 million, while Snapchat is likely to scoop up 1.9 million. Around 5.8% of those in the 18-24 age bracket will leave the platform. In 2018, less than half of U.S. teenagers are expected to logon to Facebook once per month. Snapchat also has more users than Instagram in the 12-to-24 age group, according to the eMarketer report. However, not all those people will flock to Instagram, as Facebook hopes. One being that the older people are ones who more likely have been late to join internet social media, but also, the adoption makes its way gradually along the demographics.

Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram are expected to add more younger U.S. users, eMarketer said. The social networking giant is losing users to Snapchat faster than it would have liked. This year, Instagram's user base is expected to grow 13.1% from last year's levels to 104.7 million.

That's even better than Snapchat's expected growth - eMarketer believes it will grow its USA audience by 9 percent in 2018. And eMarketer expects Facebook's proportion of social network users in the U.S.to continue to decline through 2021.

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Last month saw Facebook's USA user numbers drop for the first time in its history, and now it looks like United Kingdom teens will abandon the site in 2018.

Writer and social media addict.

Instagram, which Facebook owns, is still bigger in the US than Snapchat.

Facebook's growing reputation as a platform for older users may be another turn off for younger users. To target young users specifically, Facebook released Messenger Kids in December.

Even now, Facebook continues to add features to its native Stories in a bid to drive usage, but has failed spectacularly. Notably, 2017 was the first time that analysts expected the company to see a drop in usage for any age group.

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