Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Preston Stone

Facebook Losing Younger Users at Rapid Pace

Facebook Losing Younger Users at Rapid Pace

Also, for the first time since its research began, less than half of the 12-17 age group in the USA will be on Facebook, with a 5.6 percent drop expected this year. That means that for the first time, less than half of U.S. internet users in that age group are expected to use Facebook at least once a month in 2018.

And the giant social network can no longer count on Instagram to help retain that younger audience, according to eMarketer. In the year 2018, the number of Facebook users will decline by the following percentages.

In a report on Monday, eMarketer said about 71% of the United Kingdom users between 12 and 17 years old would use Facebook this year, a drop of 8% from last year's forecast.

Notably, this is not the first time Facebook has been stamped with "young users" problem.

Facebook might be the world's biggest social platform but it still isn't enough to appeal to the younger lots who seem to prefer Snapchat for their social interactions.

Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram are expected to add more younger U.S. users, eMarketer said. Further they found that about 2.8 million user under 25 abandoned the service and think that rate of loss will continue for 2018. On the other hand, Snapchat is projected to add 1.9 million users in that age group.

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Posts and messages on Snapchat disappear after a short time, and that makes it fun for the younger age group, said Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at eMarketer. Younger people are essentially a metric for what is popular at any given moment in time, and for Facebook, the numbers indicate that it's losing that edge.

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

"Snapchat's popularity with teens and young adults has grown significantly since the platform first launched in 2011", eMarketer said.

"There are now some early signs that younger social networkers are being swayed by Snapchat", Fisher said.

Facebook has tried to stem an exodus to Snapchat with measures such as a new version of its Messenger app for children. The social network is expected to reach 169.5 million USA users this year, marking just a slight increase of almost 1 percent compared to 2017.

The number of total Facebook users in the USA will reach 169.5 million this year, up just under 1% from 2017. To achieve its objective, Facebook made several decisions including showing fewer viral videos in the News Feed. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", he added.

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