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Facebook losing young users rapidly

12 February 2018

Facebook could find some comfort in the fact that it owns the youthful Instagram, but rival Snapchat might be the new destination of choice among youth, according to eMarketer.

Breaking it down further, the report suggests Facebook users aged 11 and under will fall by 9.3%, those aged between 12-17 will decline 5.6%, while 18-24 year-old users, will drop by 5.8%.

Around 43 per cent of social media users will use Snapchat this year, which eMarketer said is more than twice its penetration rate from three years ago.

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Last week, Facebook reported quarterly earnings, and revealed that the number of daily users in North America decreased for the first time, to 184 million from 185 million.

Facebook still has 1.4 billion daily active users globally and Instagram has more than 500 million, while Snapchat has 187 million daily active users. Snapchat's popularity with teens and young adults rose significantly since the platform first launched in 2011.

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The research predicts Snapchat will add 1.9 million users under 24, compared with 1.6 million for Instagram, and will continue to have more users ages 12 to 24.

'There are now some early signs that younger social network users are being swayed by Snapchat'. In 2018, 83 percent of social network users aged 18-24 will be Facebook users, this share will drop to 81.5 percent by 2021. "Facebook isn't just Facebook, they've got Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp".

The latest forecast on social network usage from eMarketer shows Facebook is losing younger users at an even faster pace than previously expected.

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

Facebook's slump follows a move by the company to prioritise "more meaningful social interactions", according to chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg. The analyst also says that over the last three years Snapchat has increased its take-up rate two-fold among the United Kingdom users of social networking sites and apps to 43%.

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Facebook losing young users rapidly