Teens Fleeing Facebook for Snapchat and Instagram

The elusive teenage market is made of mobile-first early adopters and trendsetters. It’s no wonder social media platforms are battling for their attention—and it looks like Facebook is losing, according to the latest forecast by eMarketer.

The New York-based research firm predicts Facebook’s monthly usage for the 12-to-17 group will drop 3.4 per cent in the U.S. this year to 14.5 million teens. That marks the second consecutive year usage has slipped for this coveted cohort.

Instead, teens are turning their eyes to Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram. Monthly usage of both photo-sharing platforms is expected to double this year.

“We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate—that is, using visual content,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco in a statement.

Orozco noted teens and tweens aren’t logging onto Facebook as often, and when they do, they’re spending less time time browsing on the platform. The shift in attention toward other social sites mean some teens aren’t giving Facebook a second glance.

“At the same time, we now have ‘Facebook-nevers’—children aging into the tween demographic who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.”

The latest projections from eMarketer has Snapchat’s total teen and young adult users passing both Instagram and Facebook for the first time in 2017. Snapchat seems to have a firm grip on the 18-to-24 group, with usage anticipated to jump 19.2 per cent this year. Despite a much talked about decline in shares, Snapchat’s user growth is expected to boost the platform’s overall share of social network users in the U.S. by almost 41 per cent.

Even without face filters and dancing hot dogs, recent market data from financial firm Piper Jaffray revealed that Apple’s iMessage is really what’s dominating communication between teens.