The digital measurement firm predicted last year that Facebook would see a 3.4 percent drop in 12- to 17-year-old users in the U.S.in 2017, the first time it had predicted a drop in usage for any age group on Facebook.
In an article on eMarketer website, the writers did not cite any specific reason of this shift but predict Facebook's proportion of social network users accessing the platform will continue to decline.
Both Instagram and Snapchat will see a massive increase in users this year, though Instagram is expected to win out in the end. According to eMarketer, however, the number of Facebook users aged 11 or younger will drop by 9.3 percent in the United States. Of the 2 million USA users under 25 that eMarketer estimates Facebook will drop this year, it sees Instagram catching only 1.6 million, while Snapchat is likely to scoop up 1.9 million. Facebook lost approximately 2.8 million USA users under 25 previous year, a small amount in comparison to the company's vast user base but indicative of a general decline in interest for the platform amongst younger Americans. But since a year ago, Snapchat is gaining interest from teens' side and will soon take over both Facebook and Instagram as predicted by researchers through survey and traffic data. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.
Overall, however, Snapchat continues to trail Instagram in the US.
Facebook's monthly user growth is coming from older rather than younger users, the study said.
Overall, eMarketer found Facebook lost about 2.8 million USA users under 25 a year ago. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the firm's latest report. Snapchat will age 1.9-million users from that group, while Instagram will add 1.6-million.
According to eMarketer, teens and young adults are defecting to newer platforms such as Snapchat, just as older users are flocking to sign up.
A Piper Jaffray report released in April also said that Snapchat's popularity among teens is increasing. Instagram is one of them.
As Snapchat matures, however, it has the opposite problem to Facebook: It needs to attract older people in order to grow further.
Facebook's rival platform Snapchat was only launched in 2011 but is fast growing, and is set to add 1.9 million users in 2018. To achieve its objective, Facebook made several decisions including showing fewer viral videos in the News Feed.