A new forecast by eMarketer suggests that teenage users of Facebook are gradually moving away from the platform in favor of Instagram and Snapchat. It appears the growth that Facebook is experiencing is slowing considerably in both the United States and the United Kingdom due to lower usage among teenagers and young adults, while the usage of Instagram and Snapchat is simultaneously on the rise.
When it comes to Facebook, eMarketer expects its overall usage to increase, with the number of users being expected to hit 172.9 million in the US due to a surge in popularity among older demographics. Simultaneously, the number of teen users is expected to fall 3.4 percent to 14.5 million, while the engagement of teens on the platform is also decreasing, with younger users spending gradually spending less time with the service. Not all is bad for the company, though, with its Instagram platform experiencing a popularity surge. In fact, the younger demographics are expected to drive growth on the social network due to their focus on visual content. Instagram is expected to increase its user base by 23.8 percent in the U.S. to 85.5 million, with most growth coming from those aged 17 or under, something that will prove beneficial to Facebook's advertisers looking to engage with younger users. In terms of the UK market, the overall trend is similar, with Instagram expected to see a base of 16.7 million monthly users this year, an increase of 34.8 percent when compared to 2016. When it comes to rival Snapchat, the social network is proving just as popular among younger users, with most of the platform's growth coming from 18 to 24-year-olds and its overall user count being expected to hit 79.2 million in the U.S., an increase of 25.8 percent over last year.
In the UK, Snapchat is expected to be close behind Instagram with 14 million people using the app, which amounts to an increase of 20.2 percent, though growth has slowed significantly when considering the platform nearly doubled its user base in 2016. Snapchat's long-term future is also being questioned due to the increased domination of Instagram's Stories feature. This news, when coupled with the fact that Facebook remains the most popular network in the UK with 32.5 million users is sure to please the latter, though it doesn't necessarily bode well for Snap. It remains to be seen how user growth continues among younger demographics, but considering the popularity of Instagram Stories, Snapchat may soon be in need of a new feature in order to regain user interest, eMarketer speculates.