A testament that Facebook is losing the race for young social media enthusiasts is the fact that its daily ad-reach on users between the ages of 13-24 now stands at between 25 and 26 million users compared to Snapchat's 26 million.
Monthly users aged between 12 and 17 years old will fall 3.4% to 14.5 million people this year, an accelerated decline from the 1.2% fall in 2016. Of that increase, users under age 12 represent 19 percent of the platform's growth, and users ages 12 to 17 will constitute 8.8 percent. Instagram boasts of 22.1 million users between the ages of 18-24 compared to Snapchat's 24.4 million.
Snapchat will grow by 19.2 percent this year in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic, eMarketer estimates.
Even as younger users log in less frequently and spend less time on Facebook, the Silicon Valley company's ownership of Instagram has helped it retain teenage users, eMarketer said.
"Both [Instagram and Snapchat] have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate - that is, using visual content", eMarketer analyst Oscar Orozco was quoted on the company's blog.More news: Ford offers scrappage scheme in battle against emissions
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Aside from the users who have given up on Facebook altogether, eMarketer finds that teens and tweens that do remain on Facebook are less engaged. The report also suggested that for the first time, Snapchat might overtake Facebook in the U.S.by gaining a marketshare of 40.8 percent in social network.
But there is some good news for Facebook, which is the world's largest social network with 2 billion users.
Even though Instagram will have more United States users than Snapchat, the younger social network will beat Instagram for users ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 24. Meanwhile, Snapchat in a February IPO filing revealed that "on average, 158 million people use Snapchat daily".
Many other social media platforms have come along that threatened to become the new alternative to Facebook, but few have achieved as much lasting power and ubiquity as the social media giant, said Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser. "Although usage of the main Facebook app is declining among teens, marketers will still be able to reach them on Instagram".
For years there have been warnings that Facebook was losing its cool with young people.