In context: A recent study shows that Facebook is losing users at a rapid pace, specifically among the younger demographic. Millennials are ditching the platform at a high rate, with more than 11 million leaving Facebook over the last two years.
According to a recent study by Edison Research, Facebook is hemorrhaging users in the US, losing about 15 million people since 2017. The largest drop is among teen users and millennials.
As of February 2019, 62% of 12-34 year olds in the US log into Facebook. This is down from 79% in 2017, and represents about 11 million of the overall decrease. The 35-54 age group has also seen a 3% decline over the last two years, with 69% of people using Facebook now versus 72% in 2017. Older folks on the platform are becoming more prevalent, with 53% of that demographic being active in 2019 versus 49% in 2017.
Interestingly, or perhaps strategically, the majority of the users leaving Facebook in 2019 are going to Instagram, which is a Facebook-owned entity.
While the US population on Facebook continues to shrink, Facebook is reporting overall growth globally. This news helps quantify a report from February 2018 that showed Facebook was losing younger users to newer "hipper" platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. Interestingly, or perhaps strategically, the majority of the users leaving Facebook in 2019 are going to Instagram, which is a Facebook-owned entity.
The decline in the millennial segments may be a result of younger folks being more tech savvy and aware of the consequences of Facebook's data and privacy policies.
Additionally, the millennial demographic skews Democratic, and Facebook has been accused of allowing Russian actors to post false and inflammatory content to bolster Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle. Recently, Facebook has had more issues with data control, finding themselves in hot water over GDPR violations and database breaches.