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While Facebook is still adding users overall, most of these are in older age groups.

For the first time, less than half of USA internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year via any device at least once per month, according to the research firm eMarketer.

Of the two, Snapchat seems to possess the edge with younger users, as eMarketer found Snapchat has more users aged 12 to 24 than Instagram.

In total, Facebook is expected to lose approximately 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year. The research firm estimates that another 2.1 million users in the US younger than 25 will leave Facebook this year.

This year, Instagram will add 1.6 million users younger than 24, while Snapchat will add 1.9 million, eMarketer says. "Snapchat will continue to have more users ages 12 to 24 compared with that of Instagram", the report added.

And 2018 may not be much better, especially if the forecast underappreciates the trend yet again. Meanwhile, a so-called "Facebook-nevers" tween demo is skipping the site entirely. This year, eMarketer expects the number of Instagram's U.S. users to total 104.7 million - up 13.1% from 2017. Along with the reduced time, Facebook also - for the first time - witnessed a drop in the daily users in the USA and Canada.

Teens are leaving Facebook in droves, but why is this happening? According to a survey, less than 50% of Internet users in the 12-17 age bracket will access Facebook once a month.

A social scientist, Julie Smith from Denver said in a statement that, "Teens want that instant gratification".

Up until now, Facebook has dealt with challengers by simply buying them (or copying their features), but Snapchat has stubbornly resisted their approaches, turning down a $3 billion offer back in 2013. "Their minds move quickly", Smith says.

Looking ahead, Marketer believes the decline will not be quite as high in 2018. but still concerning for Facebook at an estimated 2.1 million users in the same demographics. It's easy to see how Snapchat's relative ephemerality is alluring on that front. They don't do the research, they do the reports on the research from a finely-tuned selection of research firms.

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Snapchat is apparently still cool enough to steal a share of young people.

A teen interviewed by U.S. today said that he doesn't "think Facebook panders to teenagers as well as it does to older generations".

A surge in older users means over-55s will become the second-biggest demographic of Facebook users this year.

The firm predicts that the number of Facebook users between the ages of 12 and 17 will decrease by 5.6 percent in 2018.

But Snapchat could end up facing a similar problem as it seeks to increase its user base and reach all ages.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion in search of the social media fountain of youth.

So why is Facebook failing at attracting and keeping its young users?

Facebook's loss could be Snapchat's gain. At the start of the year, Facebook promised changes to its product to try to brighten the mood and foster more community pride on the social network.

"I'm not sure anything could bring me back to the site at this moment in time", he said. But there were controversies, too: allegations of Russians meddling in the election, fake news, metrics errors, and a growing body of research showing how using social media can harm mental health.


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