Facebook is losing younger users according to new forecast

A whopping 71% of social media users aged 12 to 17 years will be using Facebook regularly in 2018, according to new data from research firm eMarketer. The projected 2.2 million users actually represent a downgrade of 8% compared to an earlier forecast from eMarketer.

The company said it lowered its Facebook usage estimates for the age bracket by over 5 percentage points.

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This year, 83% of 18-24 year-old social network users will be Facebook users. However, eMarketer expects that share to decline to 81.5% by 2021.

Meanwhile, the total number of users of the platform in the UK is nearing 32.6 million in 2018.

Although Facebook still performs well and ranks ahead of subsidiary Instagram and rivals Snapchat and Twitter, overall user numbers are in decline. This may be attributed to a greater share of social media activity being taken by rivals.

Snapchat is clearly at the forefront of this development. In 2018, almost 43% of UK social network users are logging into the messaging app. That’s double the rate compared to 2015.

According to eMarketer, it seems that the platform’s popularity among young adults and teens has only grown since it launched in 2011. However, recent financial data suggests that Snapchat is losing some of its fans in the US and gaining new users worldwide at the same time.

Bill Fisher, eMarketer’s UK senior analyst, explains that Snapchat is a clear favourite among younger audiences, whilst older users prefer the simplicity of Facebook. He says:

“Facebook’ has a ‘teen’ problem. This latest forecast indicates that it’s more than a theory. And whereas it’s 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. The challenge and opportunity for Snap is how to appeal beyond that core youth demographic.”

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