Are Teens Dropping Facebook?

Jackson Lewis, Associate Editor


NEW YORK -- Teenagers are leaving Facebook to spend more time on Snapchat and Instagram, according to eMarketer, a digital research firm.

The firm predicted in a recent report that Facebook usage by 12- to 17-year-olds and 18- to 24-year-olds will drop this year. eMarketer estimates that 14.5 million users in this age group will use Facebook this year, a 3.4% drop from the year prior.

Just about anyone with teenage kids or younger friends might surmise that teens and young adults are more interested in image-based social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram, but the real story is what this development means for Facebook and marketers looking to engage teens online. Facebook is still undoubtedly the strongest and most data-centric social platform for marketers, but convenience-store operators trying to reach younger consumers might have more luck with Snapchat or Instagram.

Read on for more details on eMarketer’s report and its implications for social-media marketers …

King of the mountain

Social-media figures

If eMarketer’s predictions prove true, this would be the first time Facebook sees a decline in usage among any age group since the social network’s inception, according to Mashable.

The loss of users in this age group is largely symbolic for Facebook. It will still remain the most widely used social network in the United States and around the world by a long shot, even if this prediction proves true, but the migration of users could be a boon for Snapchat and Instagram.

“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.”

Social media's young users

Teens social media

The firm predicts that Instagram will have more users in the United States than Snapchat in 2017, but Snapchat will still carry more users between 12 and 24 years old. eMarketer suggests that Snapchat will even surpass Facebook in number of users in both of the younger age groups in 2017.

“At the same time,” said Oscar Orozco, senior forecasting analyst for eMarketer, “we now have ‘Facebook-nevers,’ children aging into the tween demographic who appea

Snapchat’s stock struggle


eMarketer’s report is good news for Snapchat, as its stock price rose more than 6% in reaction to the report. Shares were still down more than 28% over the past three months due to two less-than-stellar quarterly reports, but the report still benefits the brand’s image.