Facebook is losing United Kingdom and USA teens to Instagram and Snapchat

Alain Brian
Août 22, 2017

Snapchat is forecast to overtake both Instagram and Facebook in terms of total users aged 12 to 17 and 18 to 24 for the first time in 2017, that will shoot up Snapchat's share of USA social network users to 40.8 percent. It's the first time the research company has predicted a fall in Facebook usage for any age group.

About 14.5 million users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year, a 3.4 percent drop from last year, according to eMarketer.

Regardless of what they were, a revised slowdown is obviously bad news for Facebook.

But Facebook's struggles with younger users are gains for its subsidiary, the photo-centric service Instagram, as well as for social media rival Snapchat. Its parent company Snap Inc. has been scrutinized by analysts, investors, and advertisers for its slowing user growth.

EMarketer predicted Snapchat's United States userbase would grow 25.8%, and its UK base by 20.2% in 2017.

Teens are leaving Facebook faster than expected, according to a new study from research firm eMarketer.

Snapchat is facing some tough competition from Instagram Stories. Pic tanuha2001/Shutterstock
Snapchat is facing some tough competition from Instagram Stories. Pic tanuha2001/Shutterstock

Similarly, monthly Instagram usage in the United States will grow 23.8% in 2017, a rate higher than previously forecast, to 85.5 million. In total, 16.7 million people in the United Kingdom will use the platform each month this year, an increase of 34.8% over 2016.

21% of Brits will be signing into Snapchat on a monthly basis before the year is out, but while Snap will enjoy 20% growth on last year's United Kingdom figures, eMarketer has dialed down its long-term forecasts for the Venice Beach-based firm indicating that Instagram's attempts to woo younger users by nabbing several of Snap's core features is reaping fruit. As with Instagram, Snapchat has enjoyed strong growth: It nearly doubled its user base between 2015 and 2016, and is expected to see an increase of 20.2 per cent in 2017.

New research from eMarketer has estimated that Facebook has around 32.5 million users in the United Kingdom, making it the most popular social network - but it is losing younger eyeballs to Snap and Instagram. However, as noted above, it is losing share to Snapchat and Instagram among younger age groups. Its monthly users under 12 years age are also expected to increase 19 percent, and those in the age group of 12-to-17 to 8.8 percent.

Ms Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer's principal analyst, said: 'Facebook is fortunate that it owns Instagram, which remains a strong platform for teens.

But things are looking pretty good for Snapchat. By 2021, 13.2 million people in the United Kingdom will use Twitter, representing 19.2 per cent of the population.

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