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Facebook is getting older, so is its 'user-base'

15 February 2018

The social network is expected to shed 18-to-24-year-old users this year for the first time, according to a new report from eMarketer, which predicts a 5.6 decline for the age group on Facebook. That means that for the first time, less than half of U.S. internet users in that age group are expected to use Facebook at least once a month in 2018.

In December 2017, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook would be redesigning its News Feed algorithm to bring users less news and promotional content, and more posts from friends and family.

Last week, Facebook reported quarterly earnings, and revealed that the number of daily users in North America decreased for the first time, to 184 million from 185 million.

This time previous year, the Children's Commissioner warned that the "incomprehensible" terms and conditions of social networks meant that children had little idea of what they were signing up to. Instagram, which is of course a Facebook property that the big brother has maniacally deployed to copy the younger Snapchat's innovation at every turn, will add about 1.6 million users this year.

The social network is still growing but will rely on growth in older age groups. eMarketer predicts Facebook's total USA growth will be just 1 percent this year, similar to the growth it saw in the US and Canada in 2017.

Overall about 2.8 million U.S. users under the age of 25 stopped using Facebook. On the other hand, Snapchat is projected to add 1.9 million users in that age group.

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According to eMarketer analysts, this tactic could see younger users migrate from Snapchat to other platforms in order to avoid the influx of older people.

Despite its recent struggles, Facebook remains the most popular social network on the internet.

However, Instagram still has more users in the United States than Snapchat, with their number expected to grow by 13.1% this year to reach 104.7 million. "Facebook isn't just Facebook, they've got Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp".

Facebook does not allow users under the age of 13 to sign up to the social network, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.

Facebook seems to have lost its charm of being the old-school favourite in social media hub. Instagram is looking to grow to 18.4 million while rival platforms Snapchat and Twitter are set to grow to 16.2 million and 12.6 million respectively. For 2018, eMarketer predicts the number of total Facebook users in the USA will reach 169.5 million, up nearly one per cent from 2017.

A report previous year by investment firm Piper Jaffray showed Snapchat is the preferred social network for USA teens, with 47 per cent using the platform.

Facebook is getting older, so is its 'user-base'