eMarketer: Teen use of Snapchat, Instagram grows as Facebook interest dips
- Usage of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat is shifting among people aged 12 to 17 and 18 to 24, according to a new report from eMarketer. The researcher cut back its estimated usage numbers for Facebook, but kept them the same or adjusted them higher for Instagram and Snapchat, with both expected to rise by double digits. Usage rates for all three platforms are running largely in parallel between the U.S. and the U.K.
- The news marks the second consecutive year of usage declines for Facebook and some younger users are not adopting the platform at all, a group eMarketer calls "Facebook nevers." Facebook owns the photo-sharing app Instagram, however, meaning the report is not all bad news for the company.
- Teens and tweens are turning to Instagram and Snapchat because both are more aligned with how those demographics communicate through visual content, eMarketer Senior Forecasting Analyst Oscar Orozco said in the report.
Facebook's standing with young people has been the subject of debate for some time. While the pool of "Facebook nevers" might be growing, eMarketer earlier this year also shared a survey from UBS Evidence labs that found teens' daily usage of the social network was actually on the rise in 2016.
However, the new findings, being fresher, reinforce that marketers interested in reaching Gen Z — a highly coveted demographic — should be looking more often toward Instagram and Snapchat over their older peer, and should specifically be tailoring visually-oriented marketing to those platforms. Social media can be powerful driver of sales, with 80% of Gen Zers reporting it influences their shopping habits, according to a study from Yes Lifecycle Marketing released last month.
That report found Snapchat was particularly effective in connecting with Gen Z which, combined with the eMarketer news, should give Snapchat a morale boost after a Q2 earnings report that included missed user growth expectations. One area Instagram has seen success is in its Snapchat-like Stories feature, which has in just a year outgrown its obvious inspiration and quickly attracted the interest of marketers and influencer talent.