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Report: Facebook is Bleeding Young People From its Platform Faster Than Expected
Capital Markets, Lifestyle
It’s pretty well established that as moms, dads, grandmothers and crazy uncles increasingly joined Facebook, younger people became a lot less willing to share their lives on the platform.
But a new study by eMarketer shows that young people between the ages of 17 and 24 in the U.S. dropped 9.9 percent in 2017, or equal to 1.4 million total users, as Recode notes. That is almost three times what eMarketer had forecast last year, expecting to see a 3.4 percent drop in that demographic.
There are likely multiple reasons for the decline. Facebook has been losing its “cool” factor for years, and young people have more options than ever for staying in touch with friends and family. Facebook also serves as a digital record keeper — but many young people don’t seem to care about saving their life online, at least not publicly. That explains why Snapchat and Instagram, which offer features for sharing photos and videos that disappear, are growing in popularity among this demographic.
Facebook lost 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 overall last year, according to eMarketer. Furthermore, the research firm predicts that Facebook will lose an additional 2.1 million users in the U.S. under the age of 25 in 2018.
However, the news isn’t all bad for Facebook, as Recode reports.
The good news for Facebook is that, despite the expected decline in younger users, eMarketer believes Facebook’s overall U.S. audience will continue to grow for the next few years. More importantly, perhaps, eMarketer expects Facebook-owned Instagram to grow significantly. The research firm believes Instagram’s U.S. user base will grow by 13 percent this year, to almost 105 million people.
That’s even better than Snapchat’s expected growth — eMarketer believes it will grow its U.S. audience by 9 percent in 2018. That would give Snapchat about 86.5 million users by the end of the year.
That Instagram acquisition is looking better every day.
Photo: Getty iStock