Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Facebook "losing young people to Snapchat"

Facebook

According to a new report from eMarketer, Snapchat is now the go-to place for young people, who prefer the ephemeral platform instead of Facebook.

According to eMarketer, the largest growth is expected to be among older social network users. It's a grown-up problem for Facebook, which needs young users to develop the habit of checking Facebook so it can show them advertising into adulthood.

Additionally, Facebook will see growth among 18-to-24s dip by 5.5%, while the number of domestic users younger than 12 will decline by 9.3%, this year. The overall audience for Instagram is bigger than Snapchat in the U.S. The number of Instagram users will grow 13.1% to 104.7 million in 2018, while Snapchat's user base will increase 9.3% to 86.5 million, eMarketer forecast.

Facebook, meanwhile, is still gaining more monthly users, but mainly in older age groups.

Although eMarketer does predict that people in the age range from 18 to 24 will be using Facebook frequently in 2018, a staggering 81.5 percent drop is expected by 2021. That will lift the total number of users aged between 55-65, to 6.4 million, a size second only to the 16-34 year-olds group. Facebook has been struggling with attracting younger users for several years, but its efforts don't appear to be making much of an impact as these consumers continue to seek out what's new and innovative in mobile.

It adds that these youth-focused features have also "turned off older audiences", who are said to "favour Facebook's less complicated social network experience".

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Ready to get started? Snapchat, which is known for its disappearing messages, will continue to have more users aged 12 to 24 than Instagram, the researchers said. While Instagram is expected to have around 1.6 million more users this year, the same for Snapchat will be higher at 1.9 million.

The age group younger than 25 years old is typically considered Gen Z, while the cohort directly older are millennials.

This is the first time its predicted a decline in that age group.

Around two million kids in the United Kingdom aged between 12 and 17 will use the social network regularly this year, or 71 per cent of that age group, analysts predict.

The nature of Snapchat's design, however, defaults away from everyone seeing what users post. Tumblr, Google+, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, and other platforms now seem to be considered not only viable options in a personal social media arsenal, but also potential replacements for those that want those specific services and not a more comprehensive Facebook account.

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