Facebook is losing young users to Snapchat even faster than expected

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"Snapchat could eventually experience more growth in older age groups, since it's redesigning its platform to be easier to use", eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in the report. This is also the first time Facebook even predicted a decline in users. The company's Instagram platform shows faster growth, particularly after copying several popular features that Snapchat provided, like Stories that string together several images in a single post. The research firm per Recode, estimated that the social networking giant will lose around 2.1 million users in the U.S. below the age of 25.

While this growth has been helped by significant numbers of older people joining the platform, this silver surge may have had the knock-on effect of pushing younger people away from Facebook. According to eMarketer, Facebook's popularity among the over-55s is rising.

The number of Facebook users aged 12 to 17 will decrease by 5.6 per cent in 2018, according to a forecast from New York-based market research company eMarketer.

But while the young group have started bailing out from Facebook the older generation has slowly started adapting the social media platform to connect with their closed-ones.

"Both [Instagram and Snapchat] have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate-that is, using visual content".

And not all users are expected to go towards Facebook-owned Instagram, which will add 1.6 million users under the age of 25 for 2018, according to eMarketer. While that has pushed Instagram as a likely destination that the younger will like to get along with, Snapchat still seems to hold on to its appeal among its intended clientele. This compared to 24 percent for Instagram, 9 percent for Facebook and 7 percent for Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR).

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Facebook still has 1.4 billion daily active users globally and Instagram has more than 500 million, while Snapchat has 187 million daily active users. But faster-growing Instagram will be used by 104.7 million people in the United States and Snapchat will reach 86.5 million users.

EMarketer says it bases its analysis on survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, disclosures by Facebook, historical trends and other factors.

A 5.6 percent decline in users between 12- and 17-years-old. The number of total users in the US this year will grow by just under 1% to 169.5 million, according to eMarketer. To target young users specifically, Facebook released Messenger Kids in December.

Facebook, meanwhile, is still gaining more monthly users, but mainly in older age groups.

The age group younger than 25 years old is typically considered Gen Z, while the cohort directly older are millennials.

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