According to new research from eMarketer, the social network giant, Facebook, is losing its appeal to Snapchat among young users at a faster pace than previously calculated. For the first time, less than half of Internet users from ages 12 to 17 in the U.S. will use Facebook this year, and even Instagram, also owned by Facebook, will not be able to retain its younger audience any longer. In that age group, eMarketer estimates that Instagram will add 1.6 million users while Snapchat will add 1.9 million users.
eMarketer has also said that, through their findings and analysis, based on survey and traffic data from other research firms and regulatory agencies, Facebook press releases, historical trends, Internet and mobile trends, and other factors, Snapchat will continue to see more growth in users from ages 12 to 24 than Instagram.
Although Facebook is still the world’s most popular online social media and social networking service with more than 2 billion users, this new research suggests that young people are spending less time on Facebook and that its growth in the U.S. has been largely driven by older users. eMarketer expects Facebook’s proportions of its user in the U.S. to steadily decline through 2021.
Julie Smith, a social scientist who works with teenagers in Denver, says that young people are calling Facebook “the old people network.”
Teens want that instant gratification. That’s why Snapchat and Instagram work well for them. Their minds move quickly. Facebook feels like an investment of their time and they don’t want to invest their time in it.
Furthermore, Smith’s 17-year-old son, Finnegan, reinforces the continuing decline of Facebook as he said that he recently deleted his Facebook account because he rarely used it, compared to Snapchat and Instagram, and that it was “too much to keep track of.” According to Finnegan, Snapchat is a big draw for teenagers as it provides the ability to be more selective with whom you want to communicate and what they want to share, unlike Facebook, which has the ability to hurt young people’s chances of getting into college or landing a job based on their posts.
Finnegan, regarding on the difference of the many social media, said,
Snapchat is what a lot of people use just because it’s really easy to connect with people one-on-one and you can choose to share with a lot of people or you can choose to have it more private. I don’t think Facebook panders to teenagers as well as it does to older generations. I think that’s definitely something they need to work on.
In the U.S., Instagram is still bigger overall than Snapchat, with numbers of its users to go up by 13.1% year after year while Snapchat is expected to grow 9.3% more.
[via USA Today]