Facebook is now officially for old people, new data reveals

15 February, 2018, 02:19 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Facebook Losing Younger Users

Less than half of U.S. Internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year for the first time, the research firm says. Facebook usage among children younger than 12 years will drop more than 9%, with declines of about 6% each among 12-17 year olds and 18-24 year olds.

Most recently, Facebook has been accused of copying Snapchat's platform through its Instagram, Messenger, Facebook and WhatsApp apps. Snapchat and Instagram have both gained popularity during the time that Facebook's has declined and seem to have become the go-to apps for teens.

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 requires members to be 13 to sign up, though many kids under that age access social media by having their parents start their account.

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Facebook is losing younger users in the United States at a faster pace than previously estimated, according to a study from eMarketer, which added that Snapchat is drawing the young audience away, quicker than Facebook-owned Instagram. Of the 2 million US users under 25 that eMarketer estimates Facebook will drop this year, it sees Instagram catching only 1.6 million, while Snapchat is likely to scoop up 1.9 million.

Overall about 2.8 million U.S. users under the age of 25 stopped using Facebook. Snapchat, on the other hand, is expected to add 1.9 million users in that age group.

Facebook declined to comment, and Snapchat did not respond. The overall monthly increase in users that Facebook likes to showcase during its earnings calls is mainly the result of older and global users. In the US, Facebook and Instagram will end the year with 169.5 million and 104.7 million users, respectively, eMarketer says-by comparison, Snapchat will have 86.5 million. All in all, Snapchat will have a younger audience than Instagram. The social networking giant is losing users to Snapchat faster than it would have liked. The research firm believes Instagram's U.S. user base will grow by 13 percent this year, to nearly 105 million people.

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While the loss of younger users is a new twist on the Facebook story, the social media platform has been fighting to recapture the enthusiasm of yesteryear.

The number of Facebook users is supposed to reach 170 million people in the USA in 2018, a less than 1 percent increase from 2017, eMarketer reports. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

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