Teenagers are unfriending Facebook more than ever for Snapchat


The number of Instagram users will total 104.7 million in 2018, up 13.1 per cent year over year. The trend of dropping Facebook seems to be popular among young millennials as well, as the rate of use for 18- to 24-year-olds is projected to drop a substantial 5.8%.

Last week, Facebook reported quarterly earnings, and revealed that the number of daily users in North America decreased for the first time, to 184 million from 185 million.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg described a year ago as a "hard one" - but although the company remains the world's most popular social network, with more than two billion users worldwide, it may need to reinvent itself to appeal to a new generation of digital natives.

The research firm released Facebook usage estimates for 2018 on Monday, and expects that Facebook will lose about 2.1 million users in the USA under the age of 25 this year. Facebook lost approximately 2.8 million USA users under 25 past year, a small amount in comparison to the company's vast user base but indicative of a general decline in interest for the platform amongst younger Americans.

The company is trying to boost Snapchat's appeal in older age-groups by redesigning the platform and making it easier to use. Snapchat isn't far behind, expected to add 9.3% bringing it up to 86.5 million users overall.

Facebook declined to comment on the eMarketer report.

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According to eMarketer analysts, this tactic could see younger users migrate from Snapchat to other platforms in order to avoid the influx of older people.

About 47 percent of teens named Snapchat their preferred social media platform, according to a separate survey by Piper Jaffray in the fall of 2017. Instagram is one of them.

Facebook's rival platform Snapchat was only launched in 2011 but is fast growing, and is set to add 1.9 million users in 2018. 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. It is often the first taste of social media for the older populace.

Facebook has tried to stem an exodus to Snapchat with measures such as a new version of its Messenger app for children. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", the report noted.

While its domestic growth will slow to below 1%, Facebook is still on track to lead the pack in 2018 with 169.5 million domestic users. While Instagram is expected to have around 1.6 million more users this year, the same for Snapchat will be higher at 1.9 million.