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

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Seventy-one percent of United Kingdom social network users between 12 years and 17 years old will be using Facebook regularly this year, a downgrade of 8 points from last year's forecast, EMarketer Inc said Monday, citing its own report. In the U.S. last year, 68.5 percent of social media users at age 12 to 17 years old used Facebook, down from 90 percent in 2013, according to EMarketer.

In detail, the eMarketer analysis shows Facebook will lose around 2 million users aged 24 and under, during 2018.

According to eMarketer, 2.2m young people between 12 and 17 - or 71 per cent of social network users in the age bracket - will use Facebook regularly this year, down eight per cent on an earlier forecast. And, more worryingly, Snapchat is anticipated to gain more, new younger users, than Facebook-owned Instagram.

Overall, the report is forecasting Instagram user growth of 13.1% and Snapchat user growth of 9.3%.

Snapchat in particular is leading the charge for younger audiences, with close to 43% of United Kingdom users logging in this year - more than double its penetration rate from three years ago. And whereas it's been able to rely on platform shifters being hoovered up by Instagram, there are now some early signs that younger social networkers are being swayed by Snapchat. That will lift the total number of users aged between 55-65, to 6.4 million, a size second only to the 16-34 year-olds group. Snapchat, meanwhile, will see its user base increase by 9.3% to 86.5 million. "The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it".

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