Facebook losing younger users as oldies sign up

With mom, dad and grandma signing up in increasing numbers, Facebook is losing younger users in the United States at a faster pace than previously estimated, researchers said yesterday.

A report by eMarketer said Snapchat was drawing youths away from Facebook at a quicker clip than Facebook-owned Instagram.

Facebook is still growing in the US market, the research firm states, mainly due to increases in use by older age groups.

The report is the latest to highlight Facebook’s problem with attracting and keeping young people, who have long been a core user base for the world’s biggest social network.

The research firm said it expected the very first decline in the 18-24 age group in the US, a drop of 5.8% this year.

It also said that for the first time since its research began, less than half of the 12-17 age group in the United States would be on Facebook, with a 5.6% drop in that segment.

The under-12 age group would meanwhile see a 9.3% decline this year.

The same trend is expected to continue into the next two years, with declines in all US user segments under 25.

Facebook will lose an estimated two million users under 25 this year, with Snapchat and Instagram gaining.

The report said Snapchat would add 1.9 million users under 25 this year, and Instagram 1.6 million.

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