Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Facebook to post first-ever decline among young users in the US

Facebook to post first-ever decline among young users in the US

It also helps that Facebook owns Instagram, millennials favorite app next to Snapchat. 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.

This year, for the first time, less than half of USA internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook via any device at least once per month.

Overall, however, Snapchat continues to trail Instagram in the US. EMarketer expects about 1.6 million new users 24 and under.

But the fact that eMarketer is predicting declines across the board is a bad sign for Facebook regardless. In August, the research firm predicted that in 2017 the 12 to 17 age group would decline 3.4%. That's nearly three times the decline expected.

To be sure, Facebook is still the world's leading social media platform, and it saw explosive growth in 2017.

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The bad news? Facebook's 2018 doesn't look much better. How many times do you think adults have told them some version of: "don't post anything inappropriate on Facebook because it'll be there forever".

Facebook seems to have lost its charm of being the old-school favourite in social media hub.

They just don't like Facebook.

The report reveals that as Facebook has grown older - the once spring chicken of the internet celebrated its 14th birthday earlier this month - so too has its user base, along with its popularity among older people. At the same time, Snapchat and Instagram will add users from that age group. And a recent update even more strictly delineated the two. A year ago it released Snap Maps and Context Cards, and a redesign that clearly separates friend content from brand content.

But while the younger crowd disembarks in droves their middle-aged counterparts are flocking to Facebook as if they were giving away free cruises.

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Facebook is just realizing that it's platform is not that popular among younger people.

A surge in older users means that the over-55s is set to become Facebook' second biggest demographic by the end of the year. In addition to the stereotypical uncool mom and dad (and grandma and grandpa), kids usually don't want older family members seeing what they're talking about. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. Snapchat expects around 86.5 million United States users.

The problem of privacy reared its head again on Monday as a German court ruled Facebook's default privacy setting and use of personal data are against consumer laws in the country.

So why is Facebook failing at attracting and keeping its young users?

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