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Facebook is losing young users even quicker than expected

by Harikrishna Mekala

The digital measurement firm prophesied last year that Facebook would see a 3.4 percent drop in 12- to 17-year-old users in the U.S. in 2017, the first chance it had predicted a drop in usage for any age association on Facebook.

The reality: The amount of U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic descended by 9.9 percent in 2017, eMarketer discovered, or about 1.4 million total users. That’s about three times the decline expected. There were about 12.1 million U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic by the top of the year.

There are likely multiple analyses for the decline. Facebook has been missing its “cool” factor for years, and childish people have more options than ever for waiting in touch with friends and family. Facebook also works as a digital record keeper but many modern people don’t seem to care about keeping their life online, at least not openly. That explains why Snapchat and Instagram, which offer characteristics for sharing photos and videos that vanish, are growing in demand among this demographic.

Overall, eMarketer located Facebook lost about 2.8 million U.S. users below 25 last year. And Facebook’s 2018 doesn’t look much better.

The research firm published Facebook usage assessments for 2018 on Monday and requires that Facebook will lose about 2.1 million users in the U.S. under the age of 25 this year.

EMarketer prophesies that Facebook will see a drop in usage among all three age collections for people under 25:

  • A 9.3 percent drop for Facebook users under 11 years old.
  • A 5.6 percent drop in users between 12 and 17 years old.
  • A 5.8 percent decline in users between 18 and 24 years old. This is the first time eMarketer has ever prophesied a year-over-year decline in usage for this age group, though it has happened before. In 2016, Facebook’s user base for 18- to 24-year-olds fell by 1.5 percent.

Take the figures with a grain of salt eMarketer is an outside investigation firm so it doesn’t have the full picture that, say, Facebook has.

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