Facebook shares rise; report predicts fewer younger Facebook users in 2018

Is Facebook for old people? Over-55s flock in as the young leave

Experts, and Facebook itself, have long warned that the platform could struggle to engage and retain young users as other social media alternatives emerged. In 2018, 83 per cent of social network users aged 18-24 will be Facebook users, this share will drop to 81.5 per cent by 2021.

Also, for the first time since its research began, less than half of the 12-17 age group in the USA will be on Facebook, with a 5.6 percent drop expected this year.

And the trend is not limited to teens, as overall Facebook is expected to lose 2 million users who are 24 or younger this year, according to eMarketer.

However, in 2018, the number of US Facebook users aged 11 and younger is set to drop by 9.3%, while the number of users aged 12-17 and 18-24 will fall by 5.6% and 5.8%, respectively. That means that for the first time, less than half of U.S. internet users in that age group are expected to use Facebook at least once a month in 2018. Snapchat, owned by Snap (SNAP), may now be siphoning away more users than expected.

New camera filters and the introduction of Stories to Facebook and Instagram have been the most striking instances of Facebook's attempts to pressure Snapchat, with many arguing the aim of the updates was to draw in younger users. It's also believed that Facebook-owned app Instagram will grow by 13 percent to 105 million users in 2018. And that after years of Facebook's lack of privacy jeopardizing future jobs and college offers, teens are more interested in a platform like Snapchat where you can only ever be seen by people you've added and where postings disappear. Snapchat will get log-ins from 43 per cent of United Kingdom social networkers in 2018, more than double the number three years ago. "That's the predicament Facebook is in".

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Ready to get started? People ages 55 and up make up 22.5 percent of those users, second only to the 25 to 34 age group.

In fact, Snapchat could even see increased interest from older groups now.

Snapchat's update also added new features, like increased filter capabilities and more realistic avatars (called Bitmoji Deluxe). That prediction was of course, the first time the digital research firm had predicted a decline in usage of any group as regards Facebook.

Snapchat use has rocketed in recent years, though remains behind Facebook overall. This year, the app is set to add 1.9 million USA users under the age of 25.

The analysis comes on the same day that Wired published a major investigation into Facebook, which details a tumultuous two years at the social media giant.

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