Can Facebook get over its pet peeve? This question has become all the more important as recent data show first evidence that teens are abandoning the social media giant in dramatic numbers.
Analysis of Facebook’s company reports has unearthed the first evidence that younger users are leaving the social network, with up to 10 million 13-17 year-olds deserting the platform between January and April 2018.
According to WARC, the global marketing intelligence service, the age group accounted for approximately 170m users last month, though this was down 6.5% from the level seen in January – the first recorded decline according to Hootsuite, which has been monitoring patterns since 2011.
The fall in teenage users was more than offset by growth among older users. Facebook added 17 million users aged 45 and above over the three months to April 2018, with three million of these aged 65 and over.
The median age of Facebook’s active user base is still below 30, but is rising.
“In its function as a pull medium, search has done more than replace classified – it is steadily eating into the share of advertising expenditure going to display. Emerging formats such as mobile voice and image look likely to continue this trend. This may be a sign that brands are shifting budget; though it more likely reflects a multitude of SME advertisers who have started spending due to the accessibility of the format,” says James McDonald, Data Editor, WARC.
Data further show that the vast majority of Facebook’s 2.2bn users are within the 25-34 year-old bracket, 670m (30%) in April. Within the 18-24 year-old age group, user growth among males was flat, though female users rose 4.0% from the previous quarter to 260m.
Growth was recorded among all other age groups and genders aside from females aged between 35- 44, where numbers were flat.
Overall, Facebook’s net user growth was 3.2%, or 69 million users, over the three months to April.
Another latest research by Pew Research Center survey finds out that YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens.
“The social media landscape in which teens reside looks markedly different than it did as recently as three years ago,” the survey findings say.