Teens leaving Facebook for Snapchat

Facebook vs Snapchat chart

Facebook users under the age of 12 will decrease by 9.3 percent in the upcoming year, according to eMarketer, while people ages 12 to 17, and 18 to 24, respectively, will decline by 5.6 percent and 5.8 percent. eMarketer says they have never predicted a decline for all three of those age groups. "[Facebook has] been able to rely on platform shifters being hoovered up by Instagram, there are now some early signs that younger social networkers are being swayed by Snapchat".

Facebook continues to attract older users and is expected to remain at 169.5 million users in 2018.

In the 55 to 65-year-old bracket, Facebook is looking at having 6.4 million users in 2018, making it the biggest demographic aside from the 16 to 34-year-old slice - which is arguably a lower number if you cut it into a 10-year range.

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

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"The question is whether the younger ones will continue to regard the snapchat cult when their parents and grandparents start using it", he added.

Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram are expected to add more younger U.S. users, eMarketer said. Facebook lost approximately 2.8 million USA users under 25 previous year, a small amount in comparison to the company's vast user base but indicative of a general decline in interest for the platform amongst younger Americans. Snapchat is expected to increase 9.3% to 86.5 million users. Meanwhile, Facebook could lose 2 million in that same demographic, CNBC reports.

According to eMarketer analysts, this tactic could see younger users migrate from Snapchat to other platforms in order to avoid the influx of older people.

In the United States, though, Instagram is more popular than Snapchat. This year, eMarketer expects the number of Instagram's USA users to total 104.7 million - up 13.1% from 2017. To achieve its objective, Facebook made several decisions including showing fewer viral videos in the News Feed.

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The number of total Facebook users in the USA will reach 169.5 million this year, up just under 1% from 2017, they say. But now, they are flocking to Snapchat, and the ephemeral photo-sharing app's recent redesign is expected to accelerate this exodus. Not surprisingly, Facebook has emerged the world's largest social networking site with over 2 billion users.

The social media network last month acknowledged that changes to the site's design reduced time spent by 5%, or 50 million hours.

Facebook has taken steps to appeal to younger users, including the December rollout of the Messenger Kids app aimed children under age 13. Snapchat has had to content with losing users when they grow a bit older, perhaps this is something investors have learned to accept, but this will be a new challenge for Facebook. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

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