Why an increasing number of young people are abandoning Facebook

Facebook has a 'teen problem' as younger audiences look to Snapchat

According to eMarketer, Facebook saw a 9.9 percent decline in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic in 2017 in the U.S., almost three times higher than the marketing firm predicted last year.

Facebook usage among kids younger than 12 will drop more than 9%, with declines of about 6% each among 12-to-17-year-olds and 18-to-24-year-olds. And that after years of Facebook's lack of privacy jeopardizing future jobs and college offers, teens are more interested in a platform like Snapchat where you can only ever be seen by people you've added and where postings disappear.

The number of Facebook users in the United States aged 11 and younger is also expected to decline by 9.3 per cent over the year.

"In 2018, the number of US Facebook users ages 11 and younger will decline by 9.3 percent".

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Last year, eMarketer predicted Facebook would see declines among some youths for the first time in its history.

This time a year ago, the Children's Commissioner warned that the "incomprehensible" terms and conditions of social networks meant that children had little idea of what they were signing up to.

Snap's shares soared 30% last week after it revealed better-than-expected financial results and continued steady growth in its global user base, up from 178 million in the third quarter to 187 million in Q4. It expects Snapchat to gain 1.9 million users versus Instagram's 1.6 million.

According to Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at eMarketer, posts and messages on Snapchat disappear after a short time, which makes it fun for the younger age group. While Instagram is expected to have around 1.6 million more users this year, the same for Snapchat will be higher at 1.9 million.

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While the number of teen users dropped considerably between 2015 and 2016, 13.57% more seniors (65+) joined the platform, from 13.3 million in 2015 to 15.1 in 2015. The social network is expected to reach 169.5 million U.S. users this year, marking just a slight increase of almost 1 percent compared to 2017.

Facebook will lose an estimated two million users under 25 this year, with Snapchat and Instagram the main beneficiaries.

That has not made a difference to Smith, who says he may open a Facebook account again someday.

But faster-growing Instagram will be used by 104.7 million Americans and Snapchat will reach 86.5 million users, according to the forecast.

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About 47 percent of teens named Snapchat their preferred social media platform, according to a separate survey by Piper Jaffray in the fall of 2017. "That's the predicament Facebook is in".

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