Between Russian meddling and the spread of “fake news,” Facebook has had a rough year even when not counting its continued struggles with the 25 and younger segment.
The outside research firm eMarketer estimates that Facebook lost nearly 2.8 million U.S. users younger than 25 years old in 2017. The firm reports it expects a similar decline this year. Before people start calling it the ultimate demise of Facebook, the social network now has more than 2 billion users around the world.
Recode reports that Facebook users between the ages of 12 and 17 dropped 9.9 percent or by 1.4 million people in 2017. The research firm estimates that another 2.1 million users in the U.S. younger than 25 will leave Facebook this year.
“This year, for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook via any device at least once per month,” the research firm reports in its news release.
“Facebook is still adding monthly users overall, but older age groups are mainly responsible for this. The number of total Facebook users in the US will reach 169.5 million this year, up just under 1% from 2017.”
For those pointing to the growth of other platforms for the reason in the sharp decline, eMarketer expects Instagram will grow 13.1 percent and Snapchat by 9.3 percent in 2018. Facebook is still expected to have 60-80 million more users than either Instagram or Snapchat in 2018, according to the firm’s estimates.
In 2017, eMarketer reported that more than 1.54 billion people used Facebook at least once per month during the calendar year.
“Snapchat could eventually experience more growth in older age groups, since it’s redesigning its platform to be easier to use,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in the report. “The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it.
“That’s the predicament Facebook is in.”