UK's youth leaving Facebook, prefer Snapchat; similar trends seen in US

UK's youth leaving Facebook, prefer Snapchat; similar trends seen in US

Facebook shares closed higher Friday.

Fewer people aged between 12 and 24 are regularly logging into Facebook, eMarketer's upcoming report on United Kingdom digital users will show later this month. This is the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in the number of US Facebook users in those age groups. And, more worryingly, Snapchat is anticipated to gain more, new younger users, than Facebook-owned Instagram. And, in after-hours trading, the Facebook stock is in mildly positive territory. While the overall number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom will reach 32.6 million this year - far more than Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter can claim - the drop among younger users means Facebook's "teen issue" is more than just a theory, said Bill Fisher, an analyst at EMarketer.

In 2018, 2.2 million people aged between 12 to 17, or 71% of social network users in this age bracket, will be using Facebook regularly.

The number of teens and young adults in the United Kingdom using Facebook is falling, as young people opt for Snapchat and the social network's own Instagram platform instead. But not all of those users are migrating to Instagram. And whereas it's been able to rely on platform shifters being hoovered up by Instagram, there are now some early signs that younger social networkers are being swayed by Snapchat.

While Facebook may lose out on the number of new, younger users, growth among those over the age of 55 is expected to prop up its user growth figures. That will lift the total number of users aged between 55-65, to 6.4 million, a size second only to the 16-34 year-olds group.

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