Tech

Teens Prefer Instagram, Snapchat To Facebook

Teens Prefer Instagram, Snapchat To Facebook

Facebook, the world's largest social media network, is losing its appeal to younger users as they turn to Snapchat and Instagram, however the company has the financial clout to surmount changing market dynamics, according to a new report.

Teenagers are going on Facebook less and less, so much so that an analysis group predicts a 3.4 percent drop in users ages 12 to 17 in comparison to 2016. The biggest growth is from users age 18 to 24, growing 19.2 percent in 2017.

The usage of Facebook among 18 to 24 age group will grow slow than previously predicted.

Facebook, on the other hand, is still facing a teen problem, which started some four years ago when the social networking giant announced that its teen audience was decreasing.

Facebook, with an estimated 32.5 million users this year, remains the most popular social network in the UK. In the USA, eMarketer expects Instagram usage to rise 8.8% among those ages 12 to 17 this year, compared to a 3.4% drop for Facebook with this age group.

In contrast, eMarketer suggests that Snapchat's USA user base will grow by 25.8 per cent to 79.2 million people monthly, and Instagram will grow by 23.8 per cent to 85.5 million. Among those ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 24, Facebook's user totals will decline by 2.8% and 3.1%, respectively, in 2017.

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The jump came amid a forecast that fewer teens would use Facebook this year, opting for Snapchat and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) instead. Of that increase, users under age 12 represent 19 percent of the platform's growth, and users ages 12 to 17 will constitute 8.8 percent.

"We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram", said eMarketer analyst Oscar Orozco. Meanwhile, oldsters are largely absent from Instagram and Snapchat, giving kids more freedom to express themselves without fear of parental admonishment or embarrassment. "Of course, its ownership of Instagram is softening the blow, and it will be further enthused to see Instagram's longer-term prospects looking even better than Snapchat's".

What's more: There are now "Facebook nevers", children becoming tweens who are skipping Facebook altogether.

Snapchat and Instagram, Orozco added, have found success with younger demographics partially because they are more aligned with how they communicate-that is, using visual content.

"Facebook is still the big victor in social media", said Bill Fisher, UK senior analyst at eMarketer. Younger people have cooled on the platform.

While a slowdown among a coveted, hard-to-please teen userbase is bad news, the flipside for Facebook is that they're turning to Instagram, which Facebook owns.

Its user base will continue to grow slightly throughout the forecast period, beating Facebook's by an incremental degree this year, but its rate of increase will trail Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat each year between 2018 and 2021.


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