Facebook Losing Young Users To Rival Snapchat In UK

Facebook users Snapchat UK study social networks US active users teen smartphone usage Facebook teen popularity EMarkerter study Snapchat Stories parental control Facebook Messenger for Kids Apple

The report says that while Facebook has so far been successful in keeping hold of younger users shifting to services such as Instagram, which it bought in 2012 for $1bn, defectors are now increasingly heading to upstart Snapchat.

This year, in fact, less than half of USA internet consumers ages 12-to-17 will use Facebook, the research foresees.

Facebook's problem is due to SNapchat, which has doubled its take-up rate among social site users to 43%. The research firm estimates that another 2.1 million users in the USA younger than 25 will leave Facebook this year.

As Facebook ages, its younger users seem to be leaving - or just not joining at all, in the first place.

Last month, Facebook announced a major overhaul of its news feed algorithm to prioritise what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.

Recode reports that Facebook users between the ages of 12 and 17 dropped 9.9 percent or by 1.4 million people in 2017.

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But outside of the main players, younger people adopted other platforms such as Musical.ly, Twitch.tv, Live.me, Line and WeChat. One being that the older people are ones who more likely have been late to join internet social media, but also, the adoption makes its way gradually along the demographics. Snapchat, owned by Snap (SNAP), may now be siphoning away more users than expected. Snapchat and Instagram are still flourishing. Users have been spending considerably less time on the platform, according to the most recent company earnings report, but profits still soared. While the instant messaging platform is popular among young people, it's set to only gather 86.5 million users in 2018, which is still lower than Instagram and Facebook respectively. By comparison, Instagram (also owned by Facebook as of 2012) will record 104.7 million US users.

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. About 1.4 million 12 to 17-year-olds stopped using the platform last year.

For the first time, the majority of United States internet users between the ages of 12 and 17 won't use Facebook once a month this year, eMarketer said.

Facebook has tried to stem an exodus to Snapchat with measures such as a new version of its Messenger app for children.

The anomaly could be explained by Facebook finding favour with older age groups. The advocacy group also cited research that found social media usage is associated with unhappiness and depression in adolescents. "That's the predicament Facebook is in".

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