‘Young people are ditching Facebook’ is a tech-industry trope that’s been running for at least five years now, without yet having an obvious impact on the social network’s growth or revenues.
However, eMarketer’s latest report at least has data to back up its claim: “This year, for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook,” claimed the research firm today.
“In 2018, US Facebook usage among those younger than 12 will decline 9.3%. Additionally, growth among 12- to 17-year-olds and 18- to 24-year-olds will decrease by 5.6% and 5.5%, respectively. This is the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in usage among 18- to 24-year-olds and those younger than 12… Facebook will lose 2 million users under 25 this year.”
Now, Facebook is unlikely to worry too much about under-12s not using its platform, given the regulatory issues around those underage users. And the company does own Instagram, which eMarketer notes is growing its audience of under-25s in the US – it’s predicted to add 1.6 million of them this year, although that’s less than the 1.9 million tipped to join Snapchat.
Overall eMarketer claims for the US: 169.5 million people, up by just under 1% year-on-year, with Instagram growing by 13.1% to 104.7 million Americans, and Snapchat up 9.3% to 86.5 million. A separate eMarketer study suggests that these trends are reflected in the UK.