Kids think Snapchat and its dancing hotdog are cooler than Facebook, according to a new study from eMarketer.
Snapchat is expected to have 15.8 million users aged 12-17 years old in the U.S. by the end of the year, compared with 14.5 million for Facebook and only 4.2 million for Instagram. This trend continues for young adults 18-24, with Snap and its 24.4 million users holding a lead of 1 million users over Facebook and 2 million over Instagram.
Perhaps the most glaring aspect of the study was Facebook’s continued drop in usage among the 12-17 crowd — with a 3.4 percent decline in users compared to 2016, when the company only lost about one percent of these young users. Some teenagers are passing on the world’s biggest social network altogether, with eMarketer dubbing them “Facebook nevers.”
The good news for Facebook, though, is it owns Instagram. And both Instagram and Snapchat are seeing double-digit yearly growth among young people, indicating their picture and video-driven platforms are drawing in the all-important young demo. It also helps there are less parents on these apps.
“Both [Snapchat and Instagram] have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate — using visual content,” eMarketer analyst Oscar Orozco said in a statement. “Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged — logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform.”
However, Facebook is still a juggernaut, with Mark Zuckerberg’s company moving past 2 billion users earlier this year, and the data suggests Snap Inc. — Snapchat’s parent company — isn’t poised for an imminent knockout from its biggest competitor just yet.
After posting a second straight uninspiring earnings report earlier this month, punctuated by slowing user growth, Snap desperately needed a win. With eMarketer projecting its user base to grow nearly 26 percent in 2017, and Snapchat passing both Instagram and Facebook in popularity for the first time among young people, it’ll give Wall Street a reason to keep its eye on Snap.
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