Facebook, which was once a revolutionary platform for youths to connect to each other, may now be losing its appeal. In a new study released by New York market research company e-Marketer, teens and young adults are leaving Facebook for Snapchat and Instagram. Creative Snapchat features like filters and lenses, which let you add effects to images, have proved popular with users and been adopted by rival platforms. The report is the latest to highlight Facebook’s problem in attracting and retaining young people who have long been the core subscribers for the world’s biggest social network.
The research firm said it expected the first-ever decline in the SocNet’s 18-24 age group in the US, a drop of 5.8 percent this year. It also said that for the first time since its research began, less than half of the 12-17 age group in the United States would be on Facebook, with a 5.6 percent drop in that segment.
Meanwhile, the U12 age group will see a decline of 9.3 percent this year, the report said. The same trend is expected to continue into 2019 and 2020, with declines in all segments of US users under 25, the report added.
FB will lose an estimated two million users under 25 this year, with Snapchat and Instagram the main beneficiaries. The report said Snapchat will add 1.9 million users under 25 in 2018 and Instagram will add 1.6 million. Snapchat, which is known for its disappearing messages, will continue to have more users aged 12 to 24 than Instagram, the researchers said.
In 2017, eMarketer had predicted Facebook would experience decline among some youths for the first time in its history. A report last year by investment firm Piper Jaffray showed Snapchat is the preferred social network for US teens, with 47 percent using the platform.