According to research firm eMarketer, less than half of U.S. internet users between the ages of 12 and 17 will regularly log in to Facebook this year.
Facebook's struggle to retain young users is more severe than ever before. The number of users aged 18 to 24 is also set to decrease by 5.78% this year. Instagram, which is of course a Facebook property that the big brother has maniacally deployed to copy the younger Snapchat's innovation at every turn, will add about 1.6 million users this year. All told, Facebook will lose 2 million users under the age 25, this year. Snapchat, which is known for its disappearing messages, will continue to have more users aged 12 to 24 than Instagram, the researchers said. User information was retained in the wider group as those who didn't sign up, or left Facebook, would usually end up on Instagram.
Facebook is losing young users at a faster pace than expected, according to the latest report from eMarketer. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.
Also, what should be further disappointing for Facebook is that all those who will be backing off from the social platform won't be joining Instagram, also owned by Facebook.
"Snapchat's popularity with teens and young adults has grown significantly since the platform first launched in 2011", eMarketer said.
Last month, Facebook announced a major overhaul of its news feed algorithm to prioritize what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.
The number of teens aged 12 to 17 using Facebook in the United States dropped by 11.46% in 2016, going from 15.2 million monthly users to 13.5 million.
Facebook can take some solace in its overall user base: Its U.S. users will total 169.5 million in 2018, according to eMarketer, while Snapchat's will reach 86.5 million. "Facebook isn't just Facebook, they've got Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp". At the start of the year, Facebook promised changes to its product to try to brighten the mood and foster more community pride on the social network. Snapchat, in contrast, will add 1.9 million users in the same time period.
Looking ahead, Marketer believes the decline will not be quite as high in 2018. but still concerning for Facebook at an estimated 2.1 million users in the same demographics.