Young people and the flight from Facebook

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Where parents go, teens leave. That’s the conclusion from eMarketer’s latest forecast, which suggests the world’s biggest social media network is losing younger users at a faster pace than previously thought.

The report estimates there are 2.2 million Facebook users aged 12-17 in the UK, or 8% less than this time last year. It’s not just teens either – the same paper predicts a 2018 fall-off of 5% among the 18-24 group.

That youth-flight is being balanced by growth among older users, with an increase in every age bracket over 35.

So where are young people going? eMarketer points to Instagram and Snapchat, the latter of which has doubled its UK market penetration since 2015. It’s now used by 43% of UK social media users, with the vast majority aged 25 and under.

In recent years, Snapchat has added significant new features that have boosted its appeal among younger demographics. eMarketer suggests these additions have had the added effect of turning off older audiences with their complexity, boosting the network’s appeal among teens – inadvertently or not.

For financial services, which has a long-running problem reaching young people, these figures should serve as a roadmap. If you’re looking to appeal to millennials and Generation Z-ers, maybe it’s time to ditch the Facebook campaign and start experimenting with something different.

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