Facebook shares closed higher Friday. However, a new report suggests Facebook is losing the battle for younger users to Snapchat and other options. eMarketer’s latest social network usage forecast expects fewer new users under 24 will sign up to Facebook during 2018.
This is the first time its predicted a decline in that age group. And, more worryingly, Snapchat is anticipated to gain more, new younger users, than Facebook-owned Instagram.
Facebook shares closed 2.64% higher at $176.11. And, in after-hours trading, the Facebook stock is in mildly positive territory.
Facebook losing battle for younger users
In detail, the eMarketer analysis shows Facebook will lose around 2 million users aged 24 and under, during 2018. Breaking it down further, the report suggests Facebook users aged 11 and under will fall by 9.3%, those aged between 12-17 will decline 5.6%, while 18-24 year-old users, will drop by 5.8%.
However, where as in the past Facebook-owned Instagram has been successful in attracting many of those younger social media users, that’s not expected to be the case in 2018.
While eMarketer expects Instagram to gain some 1.6 million new users aged 24 or under, it predicts Snapchat to add 1.9 million new users in that age bracket,
Overall, the report is forecasting Instagram user growth of 13.1% and Snapchat user growth of 9.3%. Facebook remains the biggest social media platform, however, with the number of regular users of the network hitting 1.54 billion – or 62.2% of all social media users.
Older age groups support Facebook dominance
While Facebook may lose out on the number of new, younger users, growth among those over the age of 55 is expected to prop up its user growth figures.
According to eMarketer, the largest growth is expected to be among older social network users. Some 500,000 new users aged over 55 will likely join Facebook during 2018. That will lift the total number of users aged between 55-65, to 6.4 million, a size second only to the 16-34 year-olds group.