Thursday, 22 March 2018
News Tech

Facebook is losing its younger US audience to Snapchat and Instagram isn’t stopping the exodus

It seems that all the old farts puttering around Facebook in their Bermuda shorts and mom jeans are, like, killing the whole social networking vibe for the cool kids who are, like, totally hanging at Snapchat now.

So says eMarketer. And yes, you’re heard this record before. Fears that kids would flee once their parents and grand-parents and creepy uncle Leo started using Facebook have been around since long before Uncle Leo had to start wearing Depends.

But now it’s happening, according to eMarketer:

“In 2018, the number of U.S. Facebook users ages 11 and younger will decline by 9.3 percent. Additionally, the number of users ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 24 will decrease by 5.6 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. This is the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in the number of US Facebook users in those age groups.”

Yikes! Side note: Officially, Facebook requires users to be 13 years of age or older.

Now, for a while, Facebook could count on these youngsters migrating to Instagram. But eMarketer says Instagram seems to be only attracting some of these hepcats:

“Facebook will lose 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year, eMarketer estimates. But not all of those users are migrating to Instagram. For example, eMarketer predicts Instagram will add 1.6 million users ages 24 and younger.”

Naturally, the cool kids are going to Snapchat, which eMarketer says will add 1.9 million users in that under 24 age group. And so Snapchat will continue to lead Instagram in that coveted group.

At least until parents figure out how to use Snapchat and ruin that for everyone, too.

“Snapchat could eventually experience more growth in older age groups, since it’s redesigning its platform to be easier to use,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said. “The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it. That’s the predicament Facebook is in.”

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