Facebook losing the younger audience to Snapchat

With more active users than any other social media platform, 2.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, you’d think Facebook would be rather secure in their market share, but the truth is Facebook for the first time is worried. Why? Because the younger generation is leaving the platform in unprecedented numbers.

Teenagers and young adults aged between 12 and 24 are moving to simpler platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, and whilst at first Facebook wasn’t too worried, because they also own the Instagram platform, the mass migration to Snapchat suddenly has Facebook calling several high profile meetings behind closed doors.

What’s driving this migration?
The biggest driver is ease and speed of use. The younger generation aren’t as interested in trawling through countless posts, nosing on other people. That’s what their mums and dads do!
And that really is another issue that’s fuelling this movement, mums and dads!
Young people want a bit of freedom, they don’t want mums, dads, aunties, uncles and grandparents seeing the embarrassing antics and crazy stunts that will just see them lectured or grounded. They want to mess about and then share it quickly with their mates, without mum or dad commenting “Get home now!” or “Love you!”

Facebook is expected to lose 2 million users aged 24 and younger this year, and whilst their overall users will still most probably grow, it is a concern for the platform.

Snapchat are already looking at redesigning their platform to make it easier to use in a hope they can attract more than just this age group to crossover.
Whether that will one day be their downfall because it suddenly attracts the 25+ age group of people the younger ones were trying to avoid remains to be seen.

So what does this mean for our marketing efforts?
Obviously it’s a targeting issue. Snapchat now has to become a real part of our marketing strategy when we represent businesses that want to hit teens and young adults to market their services and products.
It will certainly provide a dilemma for marketing pros when they have a limited budget to split between  a 20-35 year old demographic and it will be very interesting to see how facebook address the matter.

We’ll be keeping our eyes open for them amending reach patterns for these age groups to ensure that business spend still has value.