Written by Lethonkie Fernando
08 Mar, 2019 | 3:08 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – More than 17 million young Americans have quit Facebook in the last two years amid a number of data privacy scandals hitting the social network. Former fans of the site, aged between 12 and 34, have abandoned it in the wake of damaging reports, including the Cambridge Analytica debacle.
US users are the most lucrative market for the social media network and it is alienating the highly coveted youth as teens and millennials shun the app. A report from market research firm Edison Research found they are flocking instead to Facebook’s sister site – Instagram.
The report found that in 2017, 67% of the total US population over the age of 12 used Facebook. This has dropped to 62% and 61% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. These average figures equate to approximately 172 million current users, according to Edison Research. However, a breakdown of those ditching the beleaguered site found the drop off has been much larger in youngsters.
The data revealed 79% of US people aged between 12 and 34 were on Facebook but this has plummeted to 67% in 2018 and 62% in 2019. This reveals 17 million people in this age group have deactivated their accounts.
This has been marginally offset by an increase in people aged 55 and up. Facebook use for this older group increased from 49% in 2017 and 2018 to 53% in 2019. The report, which interviewed 1,500 users over the age of 12 via telephone, reveals the overall decrease in Facebook’s user numbers is approximately 15 million.
Data from the report found that Twitter’s numbers are dropping (36% in 2017 to 29% in 2019) and Snapchat’s user base is stable at 62% of all young Americans over the past two years.
It did find that while Facebook, and to some extent Twitter, is hemorrhaging users – they are instead logging on to Instagram. The picture oriented platform has seen a surge in users from 64% in 2017 to 66% in 2019. Facebook remains the most used social media site overall and among young people despite the decrease in popularity. It is also the most used platform for the youngest demographic in the US with 29% saying it is the site they use most often.
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