In the early years of Facebook, the social network spread like wildfire from one college campus to the next. It was new, it was fresh, and at the time, it was hip. Fast forward to today and those same college aged kids who signed up now share the world's largest social network with their parents and grandparents. Facebook is arguably not as 'cool' anymore, which might explain why it's losing users that are under 25 years old in the United States.
According to eMarketer, Facebook saw a 9.9 percent decline in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic in 2017 in the US, nearly three times higher than the marketing firm predicted last year. That equates to 1.4 million US users out of 12.1 million total in that specific demographic. The number of users in the US who stopped logging into Facebook doubles to 2.8 million if you factor in all users under the age of 25.
Looking ahead, Marketer believes the decline will not be quite as high in 2018. but still concerning for Facebook at an estimated 2.1 million users in the same demographics. Included in the marketing firm's forecast is a 9.3 percent drop for Facebook users under 11 years old (Facebook's users are supposed to be at least 13 years old anyway), a 5.6 percent drop in users between the ages of 12 and 17, and a 5.8 percent drop in users between 18 and 24 years old.
These are not official figures, as eMarketer is an outside firm. However, if the data is accurate, or even close to accurate, Facebook should take stock of the situation and see if it can reverse course. Younger people are essentially a metric for what is popular at any given moment in time, and for Facebook, the numbers indicate that it's losing that edge. Perhaps more importantly, they also indicate that Facebook may have a tough time attracting a new generation of social media users.
It seems that younger social media users are flocking more to apps like Snapchat and Instagram, the latter of which Facebook owns. In fact, eMarketer believes Instagram will see its total numbers in the US grow by 13 percent to 105 million people this year. Meanwhile, it also predicts that Snapchat will see its US numbers jump 9 percent in 2018, giving it 86.5 million users stateside.