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Is Facebook’s Usage Drop a Blip on the Radar or a Sign of Things to Come?

Content RadarThe shortest month of the year wraps up with some big news about how people are using Facebook — and what you should do about it. Because your organization shouldn’t be ready to leave Facebook yet, check out this week’s Content Radar to find out more about which of your users are leaving and what you should do because of it.

Content Radar

Why users are leaving Facebook and what it means for you

After years of seeing continual growth, Facebook now finds itself in unfamiliar territory in which, for the first time, it has experienced a drop in active users. In fact, not only is Facebook losing users, it’s losing users among all audiences.

The 2018 Edison Research and Triton Digital study is reporting that in a survey of 2,000 randomly selected individuals, 62 percent of those surveyed are actively using Facebook, down from 67 percent one year ago. This report comes on the heels of eMarketer’s report earlier this month that claimed that for the first time ever, fewer than half of web users between the ages of 12-17 will use Facebook at least once per month in 2018.

Why now?

After years of growth, what has happened to finally cause Facebook to start losing users? In a blog post about the decrease in users, marketing specialist Jay Baer points to three issues that he believes play a factor in the decreased usage:

“Distrust. Discord. Disinterest,” Baer wrote. “These are the three reasons for Facebook’s decline in usage.”

Baer explains each potential reason for the drop in usage, but perhaps his most biting comment comes when explaining the discord people feel.

“Each time you express an opinion on Facebook, you must defend that opinion from segments of your ‘friends’ who are now ‘the opposition.’ This squeezes the fun out of Facebook,” Baer wrote.

Where are they going?

With the drop in Facebook users, where are people going?

Before the Snapchat redesign debacle that caused teens and young adults to threaten to leave the channel en masse, eMarketer predicted that Snapchat would add 1.9 million users between the ages of 12 and 24 in 2018. Instagram is forecasted to add about 1.6 million users in the same age range over the same period of time.

Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, said it is possible that some of those older users who are leaving Facebook could migrate to Snapchat.

“The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it,” Williamson said. “That’s the predicament Facebook is in.”

Should you go too?

Should your brand drop facebook?

In short — nope.

Roughly 2/3 of the U.S. population is still using Facebook, so it definitely isn’t time to cut ties yet. However, a consistent examination of your audience and its engagement is wise and necessary. You may find that gradually publishing less to Facebook and subsequently moving some of your efforts more to channels like Instagram or Snapchat may prove to be fruitful. However, for most organizations, Facebook is far from being at the point in which you would want to think about abandoning it altogether.

Content Radar

Social Media Marketing World runs this week from Feb. 28-March 2, but there is solace for those who couldn’t make the trip to San Diego. Marketers can buy a “Virtual Ticket” to view all sessions, keynotes and workshops.

Content Radar

Consumers are using their mobile devices for shopping more than ever. A recent study found that more than one-third of U.S. retail sales in 2018 will include consumers utilizing their smartphones for researching, comparing prices, or purchasing.

Consumers are using their mobile phones more than ever

Content Radar

YouTube now offers captions for live videos. The move not only allows the video giant to cater to audiences who aren’t able to hear audio; it also allows them to serve audiences who simply don’t want to turn up the volume on their devices. The tool gives YouTube an advantage over Instagram and Facebook live video options, who don’t offer impromptu captioning services.

Content Radar Is it possible that Kylie Jenner just ended Snapchat? It’s hard to say, but she definitely didn’t do it any favors this week when she shared a tweet calling the platform’s updates “sad” and insinuated she doesn’t use it any more. As a result, the company lost $1.3 billion of its stock. She since has used the app again, but it’s clear that some damage has been done.

Chad Buleen

About Chad

Chad Buleen is an award-winning journalist, the manager of social messaging for a large international nonprofit, a digital media enthusiast and father of four. Follow him on Twitter .

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