Top social media platform used by every age group
- A new report from emarketer on social media usage found that Facebook is still the most used platform among all age groups – with the exception of teenagers.
- Teenage Facebook usage continues to decline in the US, and it is projected to lose 2.2 million users ages 12-17 by 2022.
- Snapchat is the most popular social network among US teenagers today, and will add 1.2 million 12 to 17 year olds by 2022.
- Facebook is the most widely used social network among US millennials, followed by Instagram in second place.
The number of Facebook users in the US will increase 0.9% this year to 169.5 million. Although growth has slowed, Facebook is still the most widely used social network among all age groups except teenagers.
The top social networks are classified in the following age groups:
Adolescents (born between 1997 and 2006)
In 2016, Snapchat overtook Facebook as the most popular social network among US teenagers. Snapchat will continue to add users ages 12-17, while Facebook will continue to lose users in this cohort. In fact, we estimate that Snapchat will add 1.2 million new users in this age group by 2022, while Facebook will lose 2.2 million.
Snapchat has been more popular than Instagram with US teenagers for years. In 2018, 16.4 million 12 to 17 year olds will use Snapchat, compared to 12.8 million for Instagram. Snapchat will remain dominant among teenage users through 2022.
As eMarketer first reported in February, the use of Facebook by teenagers is on the decline. This year there will be 11.5 million people in the United States aged 12 to 17 on the platform, up from 12.1 million in 2017. By 2022, the number of Facebook users in this age group will reach 9.3 million sink.
“Snapchat and Instagram are the top teen social apps, and this year they’ll add almost the same number of new teen users,” said Christopher Beerntsen, eMarketer’s senior forecasting analyst. “Stories is a growth driver for both platforms, but it doesn’t help Facebook keep younger users. Teens continue to leave Facebook or don’t even sign up, and Instagram’s gains don’t fully offset Facebook’s losses for that age group. “
Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996)
Facebook is the most widely used social network among US millennials, with 58.5 million of them expected to use the platform this year. That number is still growing, albeit slowly. In second place is Instagram with 43.3 million.
Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980)
Generation X uses Facebook the most with 45.1 million users this year. That number will fluctuate slightly over the forecast period, but will drop to 43.8 million by 2022.
Instagram, the second most-used Gen X social platform, will have around half as many users this year (23.5 million). This number will increase slightly in 2019, but we expect this number to level off in the years to come.
Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
Baby boomers continue to prefer Facebook over other social apps, mostly for keeping in touch with friends and family. This year there will be 31.9 million people in this cohort on the platform, and that number remains pretty constant throughout the forecast.
Their second social network of choice is Pinterest with 12.9 million users this year.
“Pinterest is attractive to baby boomers because it’s easy to use when looking for products or ideas for residential projects that are common activities for a generation with high purchasing power and home ownership rates,” said Bendtsen. “And since boomers are already using Facebook to get the news feed or share with family, they are less likely to try out platforms like Twitter or Snapchat for similar activities.”
Snapchat comes last among the baby boomers; In 2018, only 3.8 million will use the platform.
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