Facebook losing teens to Instagram, Snapchat

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook use in the US will slow as teens and young adults opt for smartphone image-sharing services Instagram and Snapchat, according to an eMarketer forecast released on Tuesday.

The market tracker expected Facebook's online community to grow, saying it would be due mainly to increased adoption by older folks while use by those 24 years of age or younger sags.

"We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram," said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco.

"Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate -- that is, using visual content."

And while there are 'Facebook-nevers' -- children entering their teenage years without engaging on the leading social network -- the Silicon Valley company owns Instagram so it is still making connections with the demographic, according to the analyst.

Meanwhile, eMarketer increased its projection for the number of people using Snapchat on a monthly basis in the US this year, forecasting it will grow 25.8 per cent to 79.2 million. The biggest jump in Snapchat use was expected to be among young adults.

Instagram use will likely grow 23.8 per cent this year to 85.5 million people monthly, according to eMarketer.

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

"Although usage of the main Facebook app is declining among teens, marketers will still be able to reach them on Instagram."

The market tracker predicted that this year Snapchat will overtake Instagram and Facebook for the first time when it comes to the number of users ages 24 or younger.

Snapchat was first released five years ago and became popular among young smartphone users for its disappearing messages, often photos or video.
Analysts say it needs to show strong growth to keep pace in the rapidly evolving social media sector dominated by Facebook.

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