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Facebook Is Tops with Everyone but Teens

Snapchat expands lead among 12- to 17-year-olds

August 28, 2018 (New York, NY) – The number of Facebook users in the US will inch up 0.9% this year to 169.5 million. While growth has plateaued, Facebook is still the most used social network among all age groups, except for teens.

Here’s how the top social networks rank among the following age groups:

TEENS

In 2016, Snapchat surpassed Facebook as the most popular social network among US teens. Snapchat will continue to add users ages 12 to 17, while Facebook will continue to lose users in that cohort. In fact, we estimate Snapchat will add 1.2 million new users in that age group by 2022, while Facebook will lose 2.2 million.

Snapchat has been more popular than Instagram among US teens for years. In 2018, 16.4 million 12- to 17-year-olds will use Snapchat, compared with 12.8 million for Instagram. Snapchat will remain dominant among teen users through 2022.

As eMarketer first reported in February, teen usage of Facebook is declining. This year, 11.5 million people in the US ages 12 to 17 will be on the platform, down from 12.1 million in 2017. By 2022, the number of Facebook users in that age bracket will drop to 9.3 million.

“Snapchat and Instagram are the top social apps for teens, and this year they’ll add nearly the same number of new teen users,” eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Christopher Bendtsen said. “Stories is a growth driver for both platforms, yet it’s not helping Facebook retain younger users. Teens continue to abandon or never even sign up for Facebook, and Instagram’s gains don’t completely make up for Facebook’s losses for this age group.”

MILLENNIALS

Facebook is the most used social network among US millennials, with 58.5 million of them expected to use the platform this year. That figure is still growing, albeit slowly. Instagram ranks second with 43.3 million.

GEN X

Generation X uses Facebook most heavily, with 45.1 million users this year. That number will fluctuate slightly throughout the forecast period, but it will ultimately fall to 43.8 million by 2022.

Instagram, the second most used social platform among Gen X, will have about half as many users this year (23.5 million). That figure will grow slightly in 2019, but we expect that number will level off over the following years.

BABY BOOMERS

Baby boomers continue to favor Facebook over other social apps, mainly to stay in touch with friends and family. This year, 31.9 million people in that cohort will be on the platform, with that number holding fairly steady through the forecast.

Their second social network of choice is Pinterest, with 12.9 million users this year.

“Pinterest is appealing to baby boomers because it’s easy to use when looking for products or ideas for home projects, which are frequent activities for a generation with high spending power and home ownership rates,” Bendtsen said. “And since boomers are already comfortable using Facebook for checking the News Feed or sharing with family, they’re less likely to try platforms like Twitter or Snapchat for similar activities.”

Snapchat comes in last for baby boomers; only 3.8 million will use the platform in 2018.

 

MILLENNIALS

Millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996.

GEN X

Gen X are individuals born between 1965 and 1980.

BABY BOOMERS

Baby boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964.

 

Methodology
eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

 

About eMarketer
Founded in 1996, eMarketer is the first place to look for research about marketing in a digital world. eMarketer enables thousands of companies worldwide to understand marketing trends, consumer behavior and get the data needed to succeed in the competitive and fast-changing digital economy. eMarketer’s flagship product, eMarketer PRO, is home to all of eMarketer’s research, including forecasts, analyst reports, aggregated data from 3,000+ sources, interviews with industry leaders, articles, charts and comparative market data. eMarketer’s free daily newsletters span the US, EMEA and APAC and are read by more than 200,000 readers globally. In 2016 eMarketer, Inc. was acquired by European media giant Axel Springer S.E.

 

For more information, contact:
Douglas Clark
PR Director, North America
646-863-8807
dclark@emarketer.com

Posted on August 28, 2018.