- Shona Ghosh/Business Insider
It’s true: Teenagers really do think Facebook is less cool than Instagram and Snapchat.
That’s according to a study by eMarketer, which predicted that monthly teen use of Facebook in the US and the UK would decline faster this year than last year.
Monthly users ages 12 to 17 will fall 3.4% to 14.5 million people this year, the study said, an accelerated decline from the 1.2% fall in 2016. It’d be the second year of declining teen use for Facebook, according to eMarketer.
The picture is similar in the UK. eMarketer doesn’t give figures or state what its previous estimates were but again reports percentage declines for teen and young users. Monthly users ages 12 to 17 will fall by 2.8%, it said, while those ages 18 to 24 will drop 3.1%.
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.
They’re also turning to Snapchat. eMarketer even predicted that Snapchat would overtake both Instagram and Facebook in terms of teen users by the end of 2017 – a first.
“We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram,” eMarketer analyst Oscar Orozco said. “Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate – that is, using visual content.
“Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged – logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform.”
eMarketer predicted that Snapchat’s US userbase would grow 25.8% and that its UK base would grow 20.2% in 2017.
Instagram, it said, would grow 23.8% in the US and 34.8% in the UK.
This still leaves Facebook as the biggest social network both in the US and in the UK. It has 2 billion monthly users worldwide and took in a hefty quarterly profit.
But it should still be worried about Snapchat’s popularity.
“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. Of course, Facebook’s 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.”