If you feel like you are seeing more of your parents and their friends on your Facebook news feed of late, then you are probably right.
This is after an industry forecast found Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is being ditched by teens and young adults and is growing in popularity for the over 55’s instead.
In fact, the research by eMarketer estimates that Facebook will lose 2 million users under 25 in 2018. And less than 50% of internet users in the USA, aged 12 to 17 years old, will continue to use Facebook.
This demographic shift has been on the Facebook radar for some time now, but previously the brand could rely on platform shifters to move to Instagram, which Facebook also owns.
But today’s report has suggested rival Snapchat is now hoovering them up instead. This year 1.6 million users will sign up to Instagram, whereas Snapchat will add 1.9 million in that age group.
“Facebook has a teen problem,” Bill Fisher, UK senior analyst at eMarketer told The Guardian: “This latest forecast indicates that it is more than just a theory.”
Although don’t expect to see the end of Facebook anytime soon. Facebook is still adding monthly users overall, and will reach 169.5 million this year growing by just under 1%. But older users, those in the over 55 category, are going to be responsible for this.
They are losing younger users at an even faster pace than previously expected, says eMarketer who predict that for users aged 12-17 growth will decline 5.6% in 2018, 6.5% in 2019, and 5.8% in 2020.
And for users aged between 18-24 growth will decline 5.8% in 2018, 2.0% in 2019 and 2.1% in 2020. This is the first time they have predicted a decline in usage between 18-24 and those under 12.
Although Snapchat is on the up now, eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson also warned that it could succumb to the same fate as Facebook with changes and redesigns that make it easier to use.
“The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it,” says Aho Williamson, “That’s the predicament Facebook is in.”
Mark Zuckerberg has announced a huge overhaul of the Facebook platform in recent months to take the emphasis off publishers, and back into local news and community building. Including seeing more posts from the human beings you follow.
This started happening back in 2016 but Facebook will take increasingly greater steps to hide these posts from your feed over the coming months.