Facebook Losing Younger Users at Rapid Pace

Facebook has a 'teen problem' as younger audiences look to Snapchat

The report says that while Facebook has so far been successful in keeping hold of younger users shifting to services such as Instagram, which it bought in 2012 for $1bn, defectors are now increasingly heading to upstart Snapchat. In August, the research firm predicted that in 2017 the 12 to 17 age group would decline 3.4%.

Instagram is still bigger in the USA than Snapchat.

"Facebook will lose 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year, eMarketer estimates". A Washington Post report from a year ago cited that young users found Facebook to be detrimental to their interpersonal relationship. Around 5.8% of those in the 18-24 age bracket will leave the platform.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice president for the EMEA region, said she actively limits the time her own children are allowed to use their phones.

The social network is still growing but will rely on growth in older age groups. eMarketer predicts Facebook's total US growth will be just 1 percent this year, similar to the growth it saw in the USA and Canada in 2017. Facebook also said people were spending 50 million fewer minutes a day on the platform.

Snapchat's growth over the last three years has more than doubled its rate of adoption up to 43%.

Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram are expected to add more younger U.S. users, eMarketer said.

Additionally, the instant gratification offered by Instagram and Snapchat increases user stickiness and engagement.

But faster-growing Instagram will be used by 104.7 million Americans and Snapchat will reach 86.5 million users, according to the forecast. According to commentators, it is a grown-up problem for the social network, which needs young users to develop the habit of checking Facebook to show them advertising into adulthood.

While Facebook is still adding users overall, most of these are in older age groups. About 1.4 million 12 to 17-year-olds stopped using the platform last year.

Facebook is the dominant social media platform on the planet and it will still be in that position tomorrow. In fact, a lot of kids and adolescents are fleeing Facebook to escape their parents and grandparents. Most of whom likely ditching Facebook in favour of Snapchat and/or Instagram. Notably, 2017 was the first time that analysts expected the company to see a drop in usage for any age group.

It adds that these youth-focused features have also "turned off older audiences", who are said to "favour Facebook's less complicated social network experience".