How Instagram and Snapchat Are Benefiting From Facebook’s Declining Teen and Tween Numbers

Young adults are drifting away from the social network

It's not likely that these teens are on Facebook, according to eMarketer
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We’ve heard this before, and eMarketer is forecasting it yet again: Teens and young adults are drifting away from Facebook.

Emarketer released its latest forecast on U.S. mobile and internet usage, and the research company sees double-digit gains for Instagram and Snapchat in 2017, while the opposite is true for the parent company of the former.

According to eMarketer, although monthly Facebook users will rise 2.4 percent in 2017, the 12-17 age group will slide by 3.4 percent, marking the second consecutive year of decline for that age group (it fell 1.2 percent in 2016).

Facebook users under 12 and between 18 and 24 will also see slower growth, according to eMarketer.

As for Snapchat, eMarketer sees 2017 user growth of 25.8 percent in the U.S., higher than its previous forecasts, with users between 18 and 24 rising by 19.2 percent.

Snapchat will overtake Facebook and Instagram in the 12-17 and 18-24 age groups for the first time, according to eMarketer, with its share of U.S. social network users surging to 40.8 percent.

Emarketer also upped its 2017 user growth projection for Instagram to 23.8 percent in the U.S., saying users under 12 will jump 19 percent, and 12- to 17-year-old users will go up 8.8 percent.

In the U.K., eMarketer projected a 34.8 percent jump in monthly users for Instagram, with Snapchat climbing 20.2 percent and Twitter’s slight gain in that country edging that of Facebook.

eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco said of Facebook’s declines in teens and tweens, “We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate—that is, using visual content. Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged—logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform. At the same time, we now have “Facebook-nevers”—children aging into the tween demographic who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.