It feels like people have been predicting a ‘teen flight’ from Facebook for years now – probably because they have. eMarketer is the latest research firm trying to back up the theory with some actual data, this time based on France and Germany. It claims that this year, the total number of Facebook users in France will fall for the first time, by 0.2% to 28 million people. And that drop will include a 9.3% decline in the number of 12-17 year-olds using Facebook.
In Germany, eMarketer expects total Facebook users to grow by just 0.1% to 26.8 million this year, but with the number of 12-17 year-olds down by 9.1%. Here’s the caveat to all this: that 9.1% drop only represents 170,600 lost users for Facebook, so this really isn’t its core demographic in Germany (eMarketer reckons that by 2023, only just more than a third of 12-17 year-olds there will be using Facebook). And, of course, the alternatives being used by these younger social-media users include Facebook-owned Instagram.
“The good news for Facebook is that Instagram will pick up at least some of the lost core Facebook users in both France and Germany,” said senior analyst Jasmine Enberg. “The question is whether Instagram can continue making up for Facebook’s losses.”