FRAMINGHAM – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has another problem besides recent revelations about the social platform’s data breaches: Teens say the platform isn’t cool anymore.
Young users are fleeing Facebook in droves at a pace quicker than previously predicted, according to data from eMarketer, a market research company. For the first time this year, less than half of U.S. internet users from ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook on any device at least once a month.
Further, this year, Facebook is estimated to lose two million users age 24 and younger this year, eMarketer predicts.
Teenagers interviewed said Facebook has lost its “cool” factor, noting parents often use the app to keep an eye on them.
“It just seems old now,” said Ava Sandford, a teen from Marlborough. She says Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, and Snapchat are her favorites. “I personally don’t use Facebook much. I don’t have a lot of information on there.”
Milford teenager Alexa Lancisi agreed, saying she only uses Facebook to get to know future college classmates.
“Not that many people use it anymore,” said Lancisi, 18.
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
As young users leave, older users continue to flock to Facebook. Users older than 55 will increase by around 500,000 this year, according to eMarketer. The market research company projects that Facebook users will increase to 165.5 million in the United States, just under 1 percent over 2017. Instragram will reach 104.7 million U.S. users and Snapchat is predicted to gain 86.5 million users in 2018, according to eMarketer.
Steffani Farquharson, 18, from Natick, said she posts professional material or things she’s proud of on Facebook, because the platform is used by her parents and family. Instagram and Snapchat, she uses to keep in touch with her peers.
Instagram and Snapchat continue to soar in popularity with millions of other young people. Instagram will add 1.6 million users aged 24 or younger this year, according to eMarketer. Snapchat will be even more popular, with a 1.9 million boost in that age group.
Teenagers said Facebook tied them to a single, fixed identity while other platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allowed for more fluidity.
Zane Razzaq can be reached at email@example.com or 508-626-3919. Follow her on Twitter @zanerazz