Facebook is losing popularity in the “marketer-coveted” 12 to 17 year-old age group, who prefer Snapchat and Instagram, eMarketer revealed.
This will come as good news to Snapchat parent Snap, which has struggled since it went public, with Facebook and its other properties, WhatsApp and Instagram, successfully cloning some of its most popular features.
The study showed Facebook’s community of monthly users in the US will grow 2.4 per cent in 2017 to 172.9 million people, a figure slightly higher than previously forecast due to increased adoption by older internet users.
However, its monthly user base among 12 to 17 year-olds is tipped to fall 3.4 per cent compared to 2016, hitting 14.5 million. For Snapchat, the figure is 15.8 million.
“We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate – that is, using visual content,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco.
“Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged,” he said, adding there are also children moving into the tween demographic (10 to 12 years old) “who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet [are] still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.”
Meanwhile Snapchat’s US user base is predicted to grow 25.8 per cent through 2017 to 79.2 million per month and Instagram usage in the US will grow 23.8 per cent, a rate higher than previously forecast, to 85.5 million.
Within the figure, Instagram will expand its user base among those under 12 years old by 19 per cent, and those aged 12 to 17 years by 8.8 per cent.
“Facebook is fortunate that it owns Instagram, which remains a strong platform for teens,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. The popularity means Facebook marketers will still be able to reach young audiences.
eMarketer predicts Snapchat will overtake both Instagram and Facebook in terms of total users aged 12 to 17 years and 18 to 24 years-old for the first time in 2017. As a result, Snapchat’s share of US social network users will grow to 40.8 per cent.
“Facebook is still the big winner in social media,” said Bill Fisher, eMarketer’s UK senior analyst. “But it will be slightly concerned that younger people in the UK are having their heads turned by Snapchat.”
Meanwhile a report from Plusnet Mobile noted Snapchat’s market for older users is growing with the number of users in the 25 to 34 year-old age bracket expected to double by 2020, adding to a user base of over 158 million daily users.