MENLO PARK (KPIX) — New numbers show Facebook is still losing younger users and it’s projected to get worse.
Yet, it appears that Facebook’s loss is Snapchat’s gain.
At 15-years old, Kiara Hernandez says Facebook is just so …you know. She really doesn’t use it much.
“Um, I used to, but not anymore. It’s just a little… (sighs) …complicated. Like you know, teens are just more, like simple-minded. They just want something that’s quick, fast, fun,” she says.
Hernandez prefers the quick, efficient simplicity of Snapchat, the filters, and the stories.
But Facebook? She says that’s for old people. You know, folks in their mid-20s and beyond. Is Facebook uncool?
“No it’s still cool, but it’s more like for family members,” she laughs. “You know, teachers and all that.”
Debra Aho Williamson is an analyst with eMarketer.
“Our forecast is that this year, about 2 million users of Facebook under the age of 25 will be leaving Facebook,” she says.
Williamson has crunched the numbers, and their 2018 social media usage forecast is not looking good for Facebook.
According to eMarketer, Facebook usage among kids 11-years-old and younger will be down 9.3%. The same goes for preteens, 12-to 17-years-old.
Ass for the young adults, 18-24, eMarketer says they’ve never before seen a decline. Williamson says it seems Snapchat was designed to keep adults out.
“Snapchat has been hard to use,” she says. “They make it that way on purpose. It’s really challenging as a brand new user to figure out what you should be doing when you open up Snapchat and that’s what made it appealing to young people, and that’s what made it so confounding to older people.”
Peter Young, a professor at San Jose State points out that Snapchat users don’t have a lot of disposable income, yet.
“Snapchat, and these other platforms are hoping that they can capture them now and keep them, as Facebook kept a lot of us through the years, so they can become the platform du jour,” he says.
Facebook is still the dominant platform raking in 10% of the country’s spending on advertising.
But eMarketing says it’s reaching saturation point in the US, and that Snapchat is seeing strong growth and has two-thirds of all the users under 17.
Snapchat is making changes to try and attract older users and so the uncomfortable question remains, what if Mom, Dad and the grandparents started using it?
“Um, it’d be a little awkward,” says Hernandez. “But I mean, if they enjoy it, they enjoy it, you know?”