Facebook hasn’t been considered “cool” for several years, and that’s been reflected in youth gravitating away from the platform and towards others, such as TikTok. Now, eMarketer forecasts the first-ever decline in US users for Facebook this year, driven by an expected 7.9% decrease in users under the age of 25.
Overall, the number of monthly Facebook users in the US is predicted to drop by 1.4 million to 178.3 million, representing an 0.8% decrease. eMarketer indicates that the number of monthly users in all age groups under 65 will either be flat or shrink.
The youth divide is most acutely seen when sorting the data with the age of 25 being the dividing line. Whereas eMarketer expects the number of monthly Facebook users ages 25 and older to grow slightly this year (by 800K, or 0.5%), the number of users under the age of 25 is predicted to fall by 2.3 million (-7.9%).
Looking further ahead, by the end of 2026, the number of monthly Facebook users at least 25 years of age will have grown by 3.6 million from 2021 (or by 2.4%), while the number of users under the age of 25 will have declined by 5.8 million, or by almost one-quarter (-23.4%).
This latest forecast marks a curious departure from another recent forecast from eMarketer, in which it predicted that the number of Baby Boomer Facebook users in the US would decline over the next couple of years and be overtaken by the number of Gen Z users, which were expected to increase.
As the firm now writes, though, “Facebook is losing penetration and users among younger consumers because on the whole, they’re not adopting the platform when they become old enough to create social accounts.”
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