Facebook still uncool among teens, report says

Facebook has a 'teen problem' as younger audiences look to Snapchat

Facebook is falling behind in the youth movement.

This year, in fact, less than half of US internet consumers ages 12-to-17 will use Facebook, the research foresees.

In December 2017, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook would be redesigning its News Feed algorithm to bring users less news and promotional content, and more posts from friends and family.

While the overall number of Facebook users will reach 169.5 million in the USA and 32.6 million in the United Kingdom 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 EMarketer analyst Bill Fisher. This year 1.6 million users will sign up to Instagram, whereas Snapchat will add 1.9 million in that age group.

"It's not surprising based on the data I've seen", says Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research.

Take the numbers with a grain of salt - eMarketer is an outside research firm so it doesn't have the full picture that, say, Facebook has. Along with the reduced time, Facebook also - for the first time - witnessed a drop in the daily users in the US and Canada.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice-president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said she actively limited the time her own children were allowed to use their phones. But it could end up facing a similar problem as it seeks to increase its user base and reach all ages.

Facebook's uncool status has been made fun of on Twitter for years.

Where Facebook is growing is with older audiences.

It's official: Facebook is for old (er) people. Snapchat is expected to increase 9.3% to 86.5 million users. In 2018, less than half of U.S. teenagers are expected to logon to Facebook once per month. "They're probably not too anxious", Mallin says. "That age group is pretty well represented". Older users, with more money to spend, would help infuse Snap with much-needed revenue to continue its growth and innovation.

Smith's 17-year-old son Finnegan, who spends the bulk of his social media time on Snapchat and occasionally Instagram, recently deleted the Facebook account that he rarely used. Then the cycle of young people fleeing a once-hot property could start again. Facebook's US audience will grow 1% this year to 169.5 million, but older age groups will be mostly responsible for that growth. This may come as no surprise, but apparently kids don't think it's cool to hang out on the same social network as their parents and grandparents. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", the report noted.

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