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Facebook is abruptly losing its young users this year as compared to last year, says a report from Research firm eMarketer (Digital measurement firm). "This is the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in the number of US Facebook users in those age groups".

"Facebook will lose two million users ages 24 and younger this year", it said.

Facebook's own data tell a similar story. But change is in the air, and marketers will be watching to see how the social giant, which has been sidelining publishers and businesses of late in order to focus on content related to "family and friends", will keep itself competitive in a social age seemingly weighted to visual-first players. But not all of those users are migrating to Instagram. In some Western markets, Facebook has already been dubbed the social network for oldies, while Instagram and Snapchat are sought-after destinations for millennials.

"Teens want that instant gratification". While that has pushed Instagram as a likely destination that the younger will like to get along with, Snapchat still seems to hold on to its appeal among its intended clientele. "Their minds move quickly", Smith says. Further, Broughton thinks that Facebooks' video and photo experience offer a platform that helps them to stay connected with their kids and the grandchildren.

With more than 2 billion users, Facebook is still the world's most popular online hangout. That's not exactly cool.


It also explains Facebook's "copy and crush" strategy of dealing with competitors, one which has consistently been criticized by business analysts, technology columnists and Silicon Valley luminaries. The lean, image-based interfaces of Instagram and Snapchat are undoubtedly better suited for palm and thumb.

The firm also added that the company is to expect the number of "Facebook Nevers", which is people in their teens and higher up to never have created a Facebook account, to increase this year.

The ephemeral nature of Snapchat is a big draw for teens.

Nonetheless, from a Street perspective, Facebook still remains king of the social platforms. A Washington Post report from previous year cited that young users found Facebook to be detrimental to their interpersonal relationship. But there were controversies, too: allegations of Russians meddling in the election, fake news, metrics errors, and a growing body of research showing how using social media can harm mental health.

FACEBOOK is set to haemorrhage younger users - who prefer rival services like Snapchat - in 2018, according to top analysts.


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