San Francisco: Facebook is fast losing young users as kids avoid Facebook and two million people under the age of 25 in the United States will stop using the social networking platform this year, global research firm eMarketer said on Monday. In the past, Facebook was able to count on its Instagram platform to retain a young audience.
Recode reports that Facebook users between the ages of 12 and 17 dropped 9.9 percent or by 1.4 million people in 2017.
Facebook Inc.is losing its swagger with young users, who are increasingly migrating to rival platforms including Snapchat, according to a new study. Snapchat, which is known for its disappearing messages, will continue to have more users aged 12 to 24 than Instagram, the researchers said. This latest forecast indicates that it is more than just a theory. What's more: There are now "Facebook nevers", children becoming tweens who are skipping Facebook altogether.
"There are now some early signs that younger social network users are being swayed by Snapchat", Fisher said.
According to Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at eMarketer, younger users are drawn to Snapchat because of fun posts that disappear after some time.
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.
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Snapchat's ability to beat Facebook among teens highlights the success of its strategy.
Snapchat has also introduced a range of interactive features that have appealed to teen audiences, in turn driving up the user number.
The good news for Facebook is that, despite the expected decline in younger users, eMarketer believes Facebook's overall USA audience will continue to grow for the next few years.
This year, the number of Facebook users that are younger than 11 will be trimmed by 9.3%.
"This is a logical effect of the "ageing" of Facebook as a proposition and a well-known environment, and the inevitable emergence of newer social platforms offering the buzz of new features and functions", Karina von Abrams added, principal analysist at eMarketer.
Teens are leaving Facebook in droves, but why is this happening? Snapchat and Instagram are still flourishing. Their minds move quickly. "And with Facebook's video and photo experience it is a platform they want to be on to keep up with the social lives of their kids and grandchildren".
As Snapchat matures, however, it has the opposite problem to Facebook: It needs to attract older people in order to grow further.