Facebook Is Shedding Those Coveted Gen-Z Users

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Facebook isn’t cool anymore. 

That’s the latest from eMarketer, which on Monday released a report indicating that less than half of the American internet population between ages 12 and 17 will use the social network this year, a drop from the past few years.

It’s not just Gen-Zers, though. The trend of dropping Facebook seems to be popular among young millennials as well, as the rate of use for 18- to 24-year-olds is projected to drop a substantial 5.8%. 

While Facebook is still the leading social option for marketers, the drop in young users, who will set the tone for Facebook’s rising or declining popularity in the decades to come and who will dominate retail spending over the next couple of decades, should sound the alarm for marketers wondering which social channel will most assist their marketing efforts.

eMarketer, too, underscored this concern. The firm noted that while Facebook is seeing younger users depart, Snapchat, the ephemeral, photo-based messaging platform that just had its first strong quarter after a rocky first year on the market post-IPO, is poised to add almost 2 million users below the age of 25.

If photos are the hottest thing in social right now, Facebook can console itself with its brilliant acquisition move of yesteryear. 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.

It may be too early for marketers to ditch Facebook and put all their money into Instagram and Snapchat. But change is in the air, and marketers will be watching to see how the social giant, which has been sidelining publishers and businesses of late in order to focus on content related to “family and friends,” will keep itself competitive in a social age seemingly weighted to visual-first players.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]