Average social media time declines as Facebook loses steam

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. June 11, 2019

The average time social media users are spending on their favourite networks appears to be decreasing in the US. According to new eMarketer estimates, time spent on Facebook and Co dropped one minute in 2018 compared to gains in 2016 and 2017.

Average time spent using social media networks decreased 1.9% in 2018 and is likely to remain flat throughout 2021.

A drop in Facebook use was the primary driver for the decline as US adults are spending 3 minutes less on the network in 2018 compared to 2017.

Although Facebook has been busy making changes to its network to entice users to hang around and engage more with posts, declining usership could affect its ad revenues in the long term.

For example, Facebook recently launched playable ads and rewarded video ads for game developers on the Audience Network.

In addition, the social media network has begun to be more selective with content and gotten rid of click-baited content.

However, the network is losing younger audiences who have moved on to competitors Snapchat and Facebook subsidiary Instagram.

“That frequency of usage continues to make Facebook an attractive place for marketers,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “This year, US marketers will invest $28.52 billion on the platform.”

The research company added that it expects Instagram to surpass usage of Snapchat with the latter remaining flat at 0:26.

“Some teens and younger adult internet users are gravitating toward engaging (and time consuming) activities such as gaming and video viewing,” Williamson added. “Snapchat’s recent launch of a gaming platform is an effort to mitigate the effect of this trend, but it’s too soon to say whether it will succeed.”