Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Facebook losing youth at faster pace

Facebook losing youth at faster pace

The latest forecast on social network usage from eMarketer shows Facebook is losing younger users at an even faster pace than previously expected. Although it is more popular in the USA than Snapchat, eMarketer expects Instagram to gain 1.6 million users in the 24-and-younger age group this year - less than the number of new users Snapchat will add.

The market research firm said it was predicting that this year, for the first time, less than half of internet users in the U.S. aged between 12 and 17 will access Facebook at least once a month.

According to Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at eMarketer, posts and messages on Snapchat disappear after a short time, which makes it fun for the younger age group.

Facebook is among the world's most popular social networks, but it seems that Snapchat is more appealing to young users. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", the report noted.

Facebook will lose two-million users under the age of 25 in the U.S. in 2018 while Snapchat will add 1.9-million, EMarketer said on Monday, citing its own report.

Julie Smith, a social scientist who works with teens, told USA Today that it's about immediacy. Snapchat, and its parent company Snap, has continued to innovate and release unique new features, though they're not all as loved as the app's core messaging functionality. Their minds move quickly. "Facebook feels like an investment of their time and they don't want to invest their time in it". The number of Instagram users will total 104.7 million users, up 13.1% year over year. Snapchat will add 1.9 million users under 25 in 2018 and Instagram will add 1.6 million. Snapchat is expected to grow by 9.3 percent to 86.5 million users.

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For the current year [2018], there is even more for Facebook to worry about.

So why is Facebook failing at attracting and keeping its young users? At the same time, Snapchat and Instagram will add users from that age group. The analyst also says that over the last three years Snapchat has increased its take-up rate two-fold among the United Kingdom users of social networking sites and apps to 43%.

What's more, kids have probably learned to see the permanent nature of Facebook as a liability.

But perhaps it should be alarmed - MySpace looked unbeatable until Facebook came along, and it quickly fell off a cliff.

Basically, Facebook - the social-media platform originally created for colleges and headed by one-time youngest self-made billionaire Mark Zuckerberg - is having a problem staying young.

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