Facebook is getting older, so is its 'user-base'

Is Facebook for old people? Over-55s flock in as the young leave

As older people continue to inch Facebook's user count upward, teenagers are increasingly leaving the social media powerhouse in favor of a platform they feel they have greater control over: Snapchat.

Instagram is still bigger in the United States than Snapchat.

The same trend is expected to continue into 2019 and 2020, with declines in all segments of US users under 25, the report added.

For the first time, less than half of USA internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year via any device at least once per month, according to the research firm eMarketer.

Overall about 2.8 million U.S. users under the age of 25 stopped using Facebook.

In 2018, the number of US Facebook users ages 11 and younger will decline by 9.3 per cent.

It has now been revealed that eMarketer's estimates were too low, the reality of the situation is that Facebook's 12 to 17-year-old demographic declined by 9.9 percent in 2017, which amounts to approximately 1.4 million users.

The outside research firm eMarketer estimates that Facebook lost almost 2.8 million U.S. users younger than 25 years old in 2017.

Facebook will lose an estimated 2 million users under 25 this year, with Snapchat and Instagram the main beneficiaries.

The social networking giant is not as popular among 12-to-24-year-olds, who are flocking to Snapchat to escape their parents and grandparents.

It adds that these youth-focused features have also "turned off older audiences", who are said to "favour Facebook's less complicated social network experience". This compares to 104.7 million users for Facebook's Instagram and 86.5 million for Snapchat.

In December 2017, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook would be redesigning its News Feed algorithm to bring users less news and promotional content, and more posts from friends and family. That represents a decline of almost 10 percent, or roughly three times what analysts had predicted.

"This year, for the first time, fewer than half of internet users aged 12 to 17-year will use Facebok", added the eMarketer. Facebook remains the biggest social media platform, however, with the number of regular users of the network hitting 1.54 billion - or 62.2% of all social media users. Eighty-nine percent were using Snapchat, up from 29 percent four years ago.

Additionally, the instant gratification offered by Instagram and Snapchat increases user stickiness and engagement. It is expected to hit 169.5 million users in the US this year, up less than 1 percent from 2017, according to the eMarketer forecast.

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