Young German and French users abandon Facebook

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. August 16, 2019

Facebook is losing younger users in Germany and France. Updated estimates by eMarketer, the research firm, show that young social media users are flocking elsewhere and abandoning Facebook.

The total number of Facebook users in Germany will increase just 0.1% in 2019 to 26.8 million. That’s only about 20,000 more that in the previous year.

The number of users below the age of 36 is estimated to drop 2.2%. The platform will see a decline of 9.1% among users aged 12 to 17 years – or 170.600 users.

By 2023, eMarketer expects the number of Gen Z users to drop a third in the country.

These decreases aren’t cushioned by user growth. This year, user growth among 35-year-olds is expected to be 2.6% – quite a drop from last year’s 4.7%.

Older users cannot offset declines caused by younger users.

“The good news for Facebook is that Instagram will pick up at least some of the lost core Facebook users in both France and Germany,” argues Jasmine Enberg, senior analyst at eMarketer. “The question is whether Instagram can continue making up for Facebook’s losses. Competing platforms like Snapchat are diversifying their services and other digital entertainment options, including video and messaging, and continue to capture consumer attention.”

A similar image emerges in France. Here, the total number of users in 2019 is expected to decline 0.2% to 28 million in 2019.

The downward spiral is driven by Gen Z. By 2020, the percentage of 12 to 17 year-olds using Facebook will decrease below the 50% mark and continue into 2023.

The predictions could spell trouble for Facebook. At the same time, the social network continues to post revenue gains due to strong mobile ad sales.

Daily active user growth was up 8% in the second quarter of 2019 led by emerging countries.