Facebook may be losing traction in Germany and France much more rapidly than previously anticipated.
According to a forecast by eMarketer, user growth for the social network is down the second quarter in a row in Q3 2019, driven by young users opting for alternative platforms.
Facebook usage declined 1.2% in Germany in 2018. For 2019, eMarketer expects the decline to continue at 0.9% to 25.9 million people.
Previously, the number of leavers was predicted to be 0.1%, but the revised estimates suggest an average decrease of 9% for users under the age of 25.
Steeper drop-offs are seen among users aged 12 to 17 years, declining 19.2%.
Additionally, more users who are 34 years or younger are expected to leave Facebook until 2023.
“Over time, Facebook has lost its appeal for many young people, especially teens, but also younger adults,” explains eMarketer principal analyst Karin von Abrams. “Usage of Facebook is still increasing among older internet users, but younger users can find it a bit stale and are drawn much more to Instagram and Snapchat these days. These platforms typically offer more up-to-the-minute experiences and a more vibrant atmosphere. Snapchat particularly benefitted from the Q2 2019 release of its updated Android app—as well as new visual filters, including a ‘baby face’ lens. These changes boosted engagement quite dramatically.”
But the decline in user numbers isn’t hurting the overall favourable perception of the network in the country. This also means that advertisers are going to continue to invest heavily in Facebook ads, with spending predicted to grow 11.9% in 2020 to reach $2.49 billion.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, because Facebook subsidiary Instagram is set to grow 10.2% in 2019 to 17.7 million users. Meanwhile, competitor Snapchat is adding 7.5% users this year and Twitter is growing by 4.3% users.
The forecast marks the first time that user growth declined in France (by 1.3% to 27.6 million). And by 2022, less than half of Internet users in the country will use Facebook.
In 2019, Instagram users in France are estimated to grow 10.7% to 14.9 million, whilst Snapchat is attracting 16.4 million – up 17.8% from 2018.