Teens are a funny bunch. They have their own slang, own emojis, own trends, and own logic – yet despite their quirks, they’re always on the cutting edge of what is cool. Their willingness to try out new apps has led to the rise of some very hipper services such as Snapchat and Instagram. This might be promising news for new apps marketed towards teenagers, but not for the 13-year-old Facebook.com.
According to research firm eMarketer, teens are dumping Facebook for hip new apps like Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram. The double-digit growth suggests teenagers are favoring visual communications platforms.
“Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate — using visual content,” noted eMarketer forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco in a statement.
Facebook has a major teen problem
Let’s be honest here – Facebook is exactly becoming ‘uncool’ like Orkut did ten years ago. But, it’s the second consecutive year of expected usage declines for Facebook among the younger demographic and it’s more than worrying.
eMarketer suggests teens are even skipping Facebook and going to rival platforms. In addition, those who are on Facebook seem to be engaging lesser on the platform and logging in less frequently. Now, this is not at all good news for the social media giant, whose business is largely dependent on ad revenue.
On a brighter note, Facebook owns one of the two of most hip platforms: Instagram. Unfortunately, the sunny days won’t last long. It seems like Snapchat is eclipsing over Instagram and Facebook in the total teen (12 to 17) and young adult (18 to 24) ages, at a share of US social network users to 40.8 percent. It is projected to push close to a majority by 2021.
Highlights from eMarketer:
Facebook’s US monthly users are expected to grow to 2.4 percent this year to 172.9 million – a figure slightly higher than previously forecasted.
Snapchat’s US monthly users are expected to grow to 25.8% to 79.2 million. Users between 18-to-24 will escalate usage to 19.2 percent this year.
Instagram’s US monthly users are expected to grow to 23.8 percent to 85.5 million. Users under the age of 12 will increase by 19 percent, and 12 and 17 by 8.8 percent.
What the Wall Street has to say:
From Wall Street’s perspective, Facebook is more than just successful. It’s collecting user data, offering it to advertisers, and serving ads on the platform. To put it precisely, Facebook is raking in millions in ad revenue. Snapchat, however, is struggling to find a way to monetize its platform. It has inked quite a many content partnerships, but now it faces incrementally fierce competition from Instagram and Facebook.com. One of Snapchat’s biggest problem is the competition it is facing from a deep-pocketed rival like Facebook.
All of the Facebook-owned platforms such as WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as Facebook, have spent the current year ripping off some of Snapchat’s key features. The most obvious of all is ‘Stories.’ The trend reflects move to video and image-based content, especially among teenagers.
Despite becoming an unpopular destination for teenagers Facebook continues to gain major ad revenue. Recently, the social media giant posted a 45 percent gain in revenues to reach $9 billion.