According to a new study conducted by eMarketer, Facebook had lost a larger number of younger users in the United States throughout 2017 than initially predicted, with the firm revealing a 9.9-percent decline among younger teens no older than 17, as opposed to the initially estimated 3.4-percent drop from last year. The research shows that the social media giant lost around 1.4 million users from the age group, leaving roughly 12.1 million active users in that age range by the end of 2017. In addition, as younger audiences tend to lean more toward using social networks like Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram, the declining trend among young Facebook users is expected to continue this year as well.
In light of the new research, eMarketer predicts that throughout 2018, Facebook’s younger user base will continue to decline, estimating that roughly 2.1 million U.S. users under the age of 25 will drop the service by the end of the year. More specifically, the research firm forecasts that Facebook will lose around 9.3-percent of its users under the age of 11, and yes, these users exist in spite of Facebook’s terms of service forbidding anyone below 13 years of age to join the network. On the other hand, recently the company also released a new kid-centric messaging application for children aged 13 and below, so one could argue that the lines are a bit blurry. In 2018, eMarketer estimates that the social network giant will lose around 5.6-percent of users aged between 12 and 17, and an additional 5.8-percent of users aged between 18 and 24.
That’s not to say that Facebook’s entire user base in the U.S. has declined because apparently, it hasn’t. eMarketer claims that Facebook continues to acquire new users every month, though at a slower pace and mainly thanks to users who are older. Nevertheless, the firm estimates that in the United States, Facebook’s entire user base will top 169.5 million before the end of 2018, representing only a one-percent increase over last year. Furthermore, the Facebook-owned Instagram will reportedly enjoy an increase of 13-percent in the country over the course of this year, hitting nearly 105 million total U.S. users. Facebook is still posting record-breaking results every quarter, having recorded $12.9 billion in revenue over Q4 2017.