Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Snapchat becoming a playground for middle-aged affairs, experts say

Snapchat becoming a playground for middle-aged affairs, experts say

Between Russian meddling and the spread of "fake news", Facebook has had a rough year even when not counting its continued struggles with the 25 and younger segment.

Meanwhile the rise in older users is expected to impact its appeal for younger users, a problem which Facebook has experienced in recent years.

A new study by the research firm eMarketer found that in 2017 alone, Facebook lost 1.4 million users between the ages of 12 to 17 - a roughly 10 percent drop for that demographic, Recode notes. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the firm's latest report.

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Under half of US 12- to 17-year-olds in 2018 will access Facebook at least once a month, the outside group found. Mark Zuckerberg's social network this year will drop 2 million users aged 24 and under, eMarketer projected, while Snapchat will tack on 1.9 million in the coveted age range.

Facebook is still growing, but "older age groups" are driving that trend, eMarketer wrote. This year, Facebook is expected to reach 169.5 million US users, up less than 1 percent from 2017.

For those pointing to the growth of other platforms for the reason in the sharp decline, eMarketer expects Instagram will grow 13.1 percent and Snapchat by 9.3 percent in 2018. The Facebook, Inc. -owned Instagram, still on track to best Snapchat in overall user base, will add 1.6 million users under 24.

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eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson, said.

Most observers agree that there are two factors that are largely responsible for Facebook's teenage exodus: the loss of the ever-important "cool" factor, and teenagers' preference for Snapchat. "That's the predicament Facebook is in".

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