Is Facebook losing younger users to Snapchat!

Facebook users Snapchat UK study social networks US active users teen smartphone usage Facebook teen popularity EMarkerter study Snapchat Stories parental control Facebook Messenger for Kids Apple

As older people continue to inch Facebook's user count upward, teenagers are increasingly leaving the social media powerhouse in favor of a platform they feel they have greater control over: Snapchat. The same trend is expected to continue into 2019 and 2020, with declines in all segments of USA users under 25.

In 2018, 2.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds and 4.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds will regularly use Facebook in the United Kingdom, 700,000 fewer than in 2017, as younger users defect to services such as Snapchat, according to eMarketer. It believes users ages 24 and younger are more likely to join Snapchat than Facebook-owned Instagram. "In 2018, the number of U.S. Facebook users ages 11 and younger will decline by 9.3 percent". Facebook's US audience will grow 1% this year to 169.5 million, but older age groups will be mostly responsible for that growth.

Overall, eMarketer found Facebook lost about 2.8 million USA users under 25 past year. And, more worryingly, Snapchat is anticipated to gain more, new younger users, than Facebook-owned Instagram.

Facebook made a smart move by acquiring Instagram in 2012, allowing it to withstand the first wave of social competitors trying to penetrate the mobile photosharing market, adds Eyal, but that grace period is over.

Wanting to avoid prying eyes of parents and grandparents, younger generation of social media users are now dumping Facebook and moving to not-too-friendly-to-older-age-groups Snapchat.

Leading research firm eMarketer has just released the results of its latest study confirming that Facebook, Inc. But while younger users are ditching Facebook, at least the older-gen are playing it loyally and adapting to the trend.

During Facebook's recent earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the changes incorporated in the platform reduced the average time spent on Facebook, but admitted that this is a cost that the company is ready to pay for the overall good.

"Snapchat can provide a highly controlled environment for advertisers to reach an audience", said Nick Cicero, chief executive of Delmondo, a firm that advises corporate brands on social media advertising. The number of Instagram users will rise to 104.7 million in 2018, a 13.1% year-on-year increase.

eMarketer analysts expect Snapchat to lure in older users as well since its interface is easier to handle than Facebook's or Instagram's.

While its domestic growth will slow to below 1%, Facebook is still on track to lead the pack in 2018 with 169.5 million domestic users.

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