Facebook is losing friends as Snapchat lures teens away

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Users are increasingly moving to Snapchat, where it is predicted that 43% of British teenagers will log in over the course of 2018 - more than double the numbers in 2015.

EMarketer said United Kingdom trends were closely tracking those in the U.S., where Snapchat set to gain the most new users in the coveted 12 to 17 age bracket this year. However, a new report suggests Facebook is losing the battle for younger users to Snapchat and other options. eMarketer's latest social network usage forecast expects fewer new users under 24 will sign up to Facebook during 2018.

Is Facebook for old people? Over-55s flock in as the young leave

Expect more posts by people who think that LOL stands for "Lots of Love", as the number of oldies on Facebook surges and teens jump ship for the happy lands of Snapchat.

The report reveals that as Facebook has grown older - the once spring chicken of the internet celebrated its 14th birthday earlier this month - so too has its user base, along with its popularity among older people. At the same time, eMarketer also predicts that the number of users aged between 12 and 17 will see a 5.6 percent decline while the number of users aged 18 to 24 will drop by 5.8 percent. Some 500,000 new users aged over 55 will likely join Facebook during 2018.

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"Facebook will lose 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year", eMarketer estimates.

According to the report, Instagram is expected to gain roughly 1.6 million young users up to 24 years old, but Snapchat will get the upper hand. Instagram's user base will grow from 15.7 million to 18.4 million, Snapchat will surge from 14.8 million to 16.2 million while Twitter will grow from 12.4 million to 12.6 million.

Instagram Enables Screenshot Alert to Align With Snapchat
With this new feature, a circle shutter icon will display next to the name of the account that has screen grabbed your content. While not all users now have this feature, there's no saying whether or not it will even reach the majority of its users.

However, eMarketer does note that while Snapchat is popular mainly among youngsters right now, it could appeal to more age groups in the future.

"This is the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in the number of US Facebook users in those age groups", the company said.

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Overall, the report is forecasting Instagram user growth of 13.1% and Snapchat user growth of 9.3%.

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