Snapchat seizes younger users as Facebook flounders

15 February, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Simon Thompson
  • Facebook Losing Younger Users

The breakdown by age group paints its own grim picture: American Facebook users 11 and below will decrease by 9.3% in 2018; the 12-to-17 bracket will dip by 5.6% and users aged 18 to 24 will decline by 5.8%.

In a report on Monday, eMarketer said about 71% of the United Kingdom users between 12 and 17 years old would use Facebook this year, a drop of 8% from last year's forecast.

The research also predicts a fall in the number of Facebook users up to the age of 24.

Most observers agree that there are two factors that are largely responsible for Facebook's teenage exodus: the loss of the ever-important "cool" factor, and teenagers' preference for Snapchat. But not all of those users are migrating to Instagram. Overall, Facebook is expected to lose 2 million users who are 24 or younger this year, according to eMarketer. But the proportion of social network users accessing Facebook will continue to decline over the forecast period, eMarketer said.

Snapchat, meanwhile, will see its user base increase by 9.3% to 86.5 million.

Facebook, earlier this month announced its quarterly earnings and the report revealed the time spent on network to have declined by an estimated 50 million hours per day.

Additionally, the instant gratification offered by Instagram and Snapchat increases user stickiness and engagement.

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Snapchat, in a bid to arrest its declining user growth after the viral success of Instagram Stories, has refreshed its app to make it more user-friendly.

"Snapchat's popularity with teens and young adults has grown significantly since the platform first launched in 2011", eMarketer said.

Facebook's rival platform Snapchat was only launched in 2011 but is fast growing, and is set to add 1.9 million users in 2018. But for years now, the social network's growth in the USA has been driven by older users. 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.

"That's why it's uncool to that group who is 14 years old and they want to share what they're doing with their friends but they don't want grandma to see", said Molly Lynch, founder of Chicago-based Lynch Communications Group. However, according to new estimations, the social media giant is struggling to attract younger users.

While its domestic growth will slow to below 1%, Facebook is still on track to lead the pack in 2018 with 169.5 million domestic users.

Of course, "that's the predicament Facebook is in", Williamson notes.



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