According to a forecast by eMarketer, Facebook can expect to see a decline among teenage users this year.
The market research firm predicts 14.5 million people from the ages of 12 to 17 will use Facebook in 2017. This is a fall of 3.4% from 2016. Additionally, monthly Facebook usage among those under 12 and from the ages of 18 to 24 will grow more slowly than previously forecast. This is the first time that eMarketer has predicted a drop in Facebook usage among any age group.
Oscar Orozco, an eMarketer forecasting analyst, says tweens and teens appear to be less engaged on Facebook. Even though the world’s most populous social network reached 2 billion users earlier this year, young people are logging in less frequently and spending less time there. They are turning instead to other social platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, the latter of which is owned by Facebook.
The fact that it may be losing its cool among teenagers should concern Facebook, but perhaps the rise of a new group should concern it even more. Labeled “Facebook nevers,” children who are becoming tweens are now avoiding using Facebook altogether.
Facebook declined to comment, but eMarketer’s forecast probably didn’t come as a surprise. Back in a 2013 earnings call, then Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman recognized that teenagers were increasingly logging off the social network. “We did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens,”Ebersman said at the time.
You can read the full eMarketer report here.