Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Why an increasing number of young people are abandoning Facebook

Facebook's Teen Drain       The social network has a tougher time convincing British kids to join              Source EMarketer Inc Facebook's Teen Drain The social network has a tougher time convincing British kids to join Source EMarketer Inc
Lori Graves | 15 February, 2018, 07:34

Experts, and Facebook itself, have long warned that the platform could struggle to engage and retain young users as other social media alternatives emerged.

Young people might use the internet more, but Facebook is targeting a wider audience that includes older individuals who use the social network to connect with their family, friends, coworkers, and more. Facebook remains the most dominant social network in the world, but according to one analysis firm, there's a limit to what young people will take.

Under half of US 12- to 17-year-olds in 2018 will access Facebook at least once a month, the outside group found. Mark Zuckerberg's social network this year will drop 2 million users aged 24 and under, eMarketer projected, while Snapchat will tack on 1.9 million in the coveted age range. This year, Facebook is expected to reach 169.5 million USA users, up less than 1 percent from 2017.

Facebook's journey to 2 billion monthly active users.

But eMarketer said the growth was coming in older age groups - and predicted that Facebook would lose 2 million United States users under the age of 24 in 2018. "This is the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in the number of US Facebook users in those age groups".

In 2017, eMarketer reported that more than 1.54 billion people used Facebook at least once per month during the calendar year.

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While its domestic growth will slow to below 1%, Facebook is still on track to lead the pack in 2018 with 169.5 million domestic users.

While many are leaving for Instagram (which Facebook owns), more are heading to rival Snapchat.

"The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it", said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. While the apparent increase in variety could stem from a strain of thought that Facebook isn't the hip choice anymore, it also seems to stem from a disruption in the industry, as platforms, some highly similar and some fundamentally different, have gained substantial traction in recent years and months apparently through their own merits. Children under ten are already on social media.

The nature of Snapchat's design, however, defaults away from everyone seeing what users post.

The problem of privacy reared its head again on Monday as a German court ruled Facebook's default privacy setting and use of personal data are against consumer laws in the country.

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