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Facebook Communications Social Networks The Internet United States

Facebook Lost Around 2.8 Million US Users Under 25 Last Year (recode.net) 145

According to new estimates by eMarketer, Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic declined by 9.9 percent in 2017, or about 1.4 million total users. That's almost three times more than the digital measurement firm expected. There were roughly 12.1 million U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic by the end of the year. Recode reports: There are likely multiple reasons for the decline. Facebook has been losing its "cool" factor for years, and young people have more options than ever for staying in touch with friends and family. Facebook also serves as a digital record keeper -- but many young people don't seem to care about saving their life online, at least not publicly. That explains why Snapchat and Instagram, which offer features for sharing photos and videos that disappear, are growing in popularity among this demographic. Overall, eMarketer found Facebook lost about 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year. The research firm released Facebook usage estimates for 2018 on Monday, and expects that Facebook will lose about 2.1 million users in the U.S. under the age of 25 this year.
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Facebook Lost Around 2.8 Million US Users Under 25 Last Year

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  • How much of this is the age cohort shrinking?

    I know there baby boom echo is getting older.

    • Re:Demographics? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @10:19PM (#56112849)

      How much of this is the age cohort shrinking?

      I know there baby boom echo is getting older.

      This is an organization with a user base of 2+ billion, with 70+ million fake profiles, and a digital graveyard of dead users numbering in the tens of millions.

      By comparison, an "impact" of 1-2 million starts to look like a rounding error, regardless of the demographic.

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        I read it as 1.4 of 12.1 million.

        I suppose the fact that it's only 12.1 in that age range should be more concerning were I Facebook, but 12 percent or so drop is significant too.

      • The organization is 2+ billion, but from TFS, the subset is bound by "US."

        Thanks for playing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:29PM (#56112607)

    First those Russkie bastards literally hacked every voting machine in 'Murica to get that Nazi Trump elected, and now they are spending... at least $0.97.. to drive good millenials away from pro-Hillary Facebook!


    • by Anonymous Coward
      $0.97 ... that's like 4 million rubles, right?
      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        $0.97 ... that's like 4 million rubles, right?

        Or, .0001102636095 Bitcoin....YMMV

    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      They don't actually need to hack or pay anything, just release a new version of tetris with their new instructions encoded in the block piece order and that's it!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They agree to help Trump, then hacked two voting machine vendors and attacked every political email system (including opposing Republcians), to put in Trump, Trump in turn blocked the GOP position for arming Ukraine, chaning it from 'lethal weapons' to 'non-lethal' weapons, which in turn received a thank you from the Russian ambassador.

      Hyperbole only works if its way way way above reality.

      That's not much different.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They agree to help Trump, then hacked two voting machine vendors and attacked every political email system (including opposing Republcians), to put in Trump

        Trump's most dangerous action is how he isolates and marginalizes America. Are we leading on anything, well other than driving the debt car right off the cliff for no reason? I suppose we are leading in the race in the most likely 1st world country to go bankrupt.

        No one could have ever seen that coming from Donald Trump....

        I'd expect that when the Russians have to do it over again, they will triple down. Donald Trump has been an excellent investment in destroying their enemies from within. I'm honestly

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        So says the Russian AC. But seriously, if you're going to take a stand, on any side, and post as AC, why would we not simply assume you're an outsider attempting to influence our system. Have some balls, and use your ID. You'd still be anonymous, but at least the rest of us could get a better feel for if we're being played by a bunch of high ID posters.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    At least one user over 25.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "That explains why Snapchat and Instagram, which offer features for sharing photos and videos that disappear"

    Uh, no, they don't. Maybe Snapchat and Instagram don't make them available to others but anyone can save those artefacts once they have access...

    Captcha: record

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yep, even for us older people Facebook get's boring after awhile. Maybe because most of us actually don't have much to share?

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      Some demographics FB is a necessity, i.e. ballroom dancers including those in competition to keep track of latest events and seminars. But yes there's plenty of timepits of meaningless subjects like "what would you look like as the opposite sex" which they say the results will stay private (yeah, insert blame the Russkies tagline here).
    • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @12:21AM (#56113269) Homepage

      Bigger problem: you can't see what other people share. FB has "monetized" themselves out of the business by selling all the space in the feed to advertisers and never showing you anything from the people that you're trying to stay connected to.

      It used to be a good tool for keeping up with everyone in your circle and what they're up to in a kind of rapid, quick-check way. Now if you want to see your friends' or family's updates, you have to go to each person's timeline individually, one at a time. Otherwise, they're essentially invisible to you. So you just call them instead, since it amounts to the same thing as checking and scrolling through every individual profile one by one.

      Meanwhile, your feed is a whole bunch of bullshit clickbait from advertisers that have paid to insert themselves into the feeds of everyone of your age and your gender in your country.

      And on the very rare occasion that you do happen to see a promoted item on your feed that you're interested in, generally the the app updates the feed just as you're about to tap on it, and *poof* it's gone. And there's no way in heaven or hell to go back and find it ever again, it's just gone. It's literally a platform for carefully obscuring from you anything you want to see and putting in front of you and endless list of things you couldn't care less about.

      That's not what anyone was promised when they signed up, or what led to Facebook's growth.

      Basically as soon as they decided to monetize the feed aggressively, the result was predictable and lots of people predicted it. "Great, so now we're going to see a lot of ads that we don't give a shit about, disguised as 'updates' from organizations and pages we don't care about, and everything we do care about will be hidden."

      Yup. Exactly what happened.

      • And when it starts dying the asset they have is intimate personal data. And yes they have a profile on you if someone uploads a picture of you.

        They won't have much in terms of IP that would be valuable, so they will sell profiles like many other defunct biz have done. And you likely have no recourse to stop it.

        If you have a profile, like something you hate as a beacon. When someone tries to sell you that, they bought your data from facebook.

      • I gave up on FB years ago when posts from my wife, ones that I read and responded to a couple days ago, took effort to find again. But, hey! Here is more news about nobodies who are famous for being famous on FB!

        There is a strong correlation between driving revenue growth and bad user experience. A few ads in the sidebar were a good compromise that users did not mind and could be sold to build some brand image and a bit of clickbait. But ads in the feed are poison. And since the mobile devices do not s

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:33PM (#56112637)

    Someone should clone Facebook 2004 and relaunch it.

    I half feel bad for people that missed out. People yelling down the dorm halls "Did you find out about the facebook?" "Our school has been added to the facebook, do you have an invite?"

    College only, you could go to away games or "networking" events and connect with other people that wasn't e-mail.

    Now it's just the tragedy of the commons. I want to know how many "dark" groups there are. It's what has my wife hooked. She's in quite a few 'invite only' groups for her profession. They'd be much better off on a subreddit with some anonymity. I ended up making a new account just so I could add some sub groups that think that's the best way to communicate. (Some CNC, 3D printing and FreeNAS/BSD groups).

    We're sitting on a powder keg of people ready to migrate to a new site. The next site that takes on Facebook, Slashdot, Reddit, Digg, etc is going to be huge. Everyone is just too afraid to leave what they know for now.

    • Has this new Google+ site...

    • In 2004 it was obviously a a data-hoovering panopticon What's happened is people are more aware of it. If Facebook tried to launch now, kids wouldn't want to create a permanent records on the internet.

      • In 2004, Facebook was only for college students. You had to have a .edu e-mail at a whitelisted institution to sign up. Needless to say, we flocked to it like nothing before or since. It was when it lost that exclusivity and wanted the whole planet signed up that the data hoovering began and grew like a virus.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @11:15PM (#56113049) Journal
      Re "Someone should clone"
      +1 for that.

      Go back further to an IM GUI, with chat rooms, video, voice, file transfer. Add in a calendar and some group collaboration.
      The internet needs effortless communications, fun, ability to enjoy chat, sharing, working together.
      No US party political censorship, SJW enforcing their brand of politics, per nation, per link, per comment censorship.
      The internet wants its freedom of speech back from the censorship of the US party political SJW.
      Once users cant send a link, comment on a link, share a link, write a movie review, read a movie review, can only select for SJW approved news links...
      Thats people ready for some freedom of speech and freedom after speech.
      • Tox and GNU Ring are both promising projects that are building entirely decentralised chat (text, voice, video) systems with group chats and end-to-end encryption. Tox is pretty usable but with one major limitation (which they are working on, though I haven't seen much progress): accounts are tied to a device, you can't move between devices in a chat.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        People don't want chat rooms. Chat rooms hide content and writing requires more effort than just tapping "like". Typing on mobile sucks anyway, and I'm betting you wouldn't like the emoji.

        People don't want file transfer. 99% of the files that get transferred are just viruses and anyway no one uses files any more, they keep their photos on Facebook and their phone.

        By the way, where is this army of millions of SJWs carefully checking and approving every comment? Do you have any idea how many Facebook posts an

      • Enter Matrix.org. Open source, decentralized protocol with collaboration and IM applications like riot.im on top.

      • The Internet has complete freedom of speech. You're complaining about private companies that run free services that you disagree with. No such service will ever have total free speech, because it would become useless and unprofitable. The trolls would drive away enough users so that selling their eyeballs wouldn't make enough money.

    • I've long thought the same thing.

      I think that what would work as a replacement is, say, 5 different platforms. They would each be tailored to a demographic maybe like age, interests, frequency of use, small number of connections like family units for closely personal communications and coworkers for job-related activities, schools (Like Facebook was), etc.

      The carve-out would present smaller-surface targets for advertisers, and still be homogeneous enough to attract ads.

      Facebook is a one-stop shop, do-all, b

    • ...

      I half feel bad for people that missed out. People yelling down the dorm halls "Did you find out about the facebook?" "Our school has been added to the facebook, do you have an invite?"

      College only, you could go to away games or "networking" events and connect with other people that wasn't e-mail.


      Sounds like the Eternal September for Millennials. That was September 1993*. This is a repeat of what happened when the exciting erudite innovative Internet opened up to the public, and corporate exploitation and control.

      *Some may know the reference and not know the significance of "September". It was when the new school year started an hordes of clueless freshman newbies logged on to the Internet for the first time.

  • life zucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by harvey the nerd ( 582806 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:35PM (#56112643)
    Facebook - a stolen software project, run by a sociopath
  • Maybe (Score:5, Funny)

    by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:38PM (#56112657)

    They all just died in accidents like texting while driving, or choking to death while someone else was busy posting pics of their own meal...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      not to mention the tide of suicides by poising.

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        not to mention the tide of suicides by poising.

        And the poisonings by Tide. Yes, teens are now eating Tide laundry packets as a "challenge".

    • I think they turned 26...

  • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:40PM (#56112667)
    Right off the bat I wont let the teen (14 girl) have a Facebook account. Lot's of the other parents I know feel the same way. She can text her friends, but has no access to social media of any type. Too many issues to put up with that nonsense.

    Myself I'm half ready to bail. Nothing in the feed worth reading anymore. All it took was a few un-follows of friends and a half dozen "this is porn" feedback of suggested news and stories of things that popped up in the feed and it hasn't been updated with much of anything in a while.

    Other than a little messaging with friends and a few pictures for the Grandparents I have little to do with Facebook anymore.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:51PM (#56112717)

      She can text her friends, but has no access to social media of any type.

      Haha. Look at this clueless parent.

      • Haha look at the clueless AC.

        If you don't know how to change the network setting, remote access a phone, or when all else fails factory reset said phone they shouldn't let you post here.

        This is /. Where do you think you are Tumblr?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well, duh. Why would she want a Facebook account? That's for parents. These days the kids are all sending naked selfie snaps to the random group of people they added on Snapchat. Don't worry, they put a cute little heart sticker over their nips and crotch, so it's not child porn.

    • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @10:00PM (#56112759)

      Well, my kids of the same age are allowed to have a FB account - but they don't want it.

      None of their friends are on FB.

      It is for old people.

      • In Korea, only old people use Facebook.
      • by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @02:04AM (#56113595) Journal
        they should rename it 'myspacebook'
      • True it's all the others that she wants. She asks for them now and then, but she usually doesn't like the terms of service: We get all her passwords and she has to give up the phone on demand for inspection. She also knows that the Factory Reset Fairy will visit any phone in the middle of the night that doesn't allow us to login. For the most part she is a really good kid and she stays out of trouble. I think she fears more of us seeing what her friends will post/say/send than anything she is willing t
    • "Right off the bat I wont let the teen (14 girl) have a Facebook account. "

      It's kinda cute that you think that.

      • Kids may know about what's cool, the latest slang, or the best killer app for making 5 second videos is, but I'm the tech expert in the house.

        She knows if I find anything on her phone that is inappropriate, or my login access get's cut off, it'll meet with an unexpected factory reset while she sleeps. Same goes for the laptop, Alexa, Fire TV, and Xbox.

        He who controls the login passwords & network settings controls the world.

        Now I'm not a total tyrant. She has access to a smart phone, email, Sky

    • "but has no access to social media of any type" - Wow, really? She has no phone, no computer, no computers at school and none of her friends have phones or computers?

    • Lot's of the other parents I know feel the same way.

      You's sound's like good's parent's. I bet's her's use of apostrophe's is grammatically's correct's too's

      /I'm not a Grammar Nazi, I'm Alt Write.

  • Facebook sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:41PM (#56112673)

    How much of this is because Facebook decided that they don't care about helping people socialize any more, and that they're all about the advertiser eyeballs?

    Friend someone on Facebook and you'll ... possibly occasionally see things they post, maybe. Sometimes even when they post it!

    I "follow" the local National Weather Service on Facebook. (I think they call it following for pages, I can't remember, maybe that's Twitter.) They post things like weather forecasts and hazardous weather alerts. Facebook only ever shows them to me several days after they're relevant.

    There's absolutely no way to find out what Facebook is hiding from you and no way to tell it not to filter things out. Is it any wonder kids don't see the appeal? Who wants to sign up for a service so that they can maybe see a few posts from their parents a couple of days after they posted them?

    • So many people don't realize you can create a list in Facebook, put all your people/pages on it, and it will show all of their posts in chronological order. Only Luddites use the Facebook newsfeed.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        If so many people don't know this it means it's a shitty UI/UX then!
        You sound like people who defend MS Windows: "Yes but if you click on the start menu then Ctrl+XY then...(another 3 illogical hoops to go through, than change slightly or completely on each release) it will sorta-kinda do what you want it to do!" OK Thanks!

    • Maybe this is OT, but I've found that forecast.weather.gov [weather.gov] is the best weather site by far, that I "discovered" after years of futzing with ad-laden commercial sites that force you to click 4 times to find out the inches of snow predicted, if you can find it at all. And the geeky hourly graphs are wonderful, with what I'd call a close to perfect information display.

      A couple of years ago a UX designer "simplified" the front page with less information and wide margins so that you needed full screen to avoi

      • Yep. That's my go-to, even with a weather/climate background. I hate the layout of their detailed forecast page, but that was fixed in a matter of an hour or so by writing my own iframe filled web page and screen scraping the important bits into logical locations. I now get the forecast, local weather loop, and "what's headed my way tomorrow" subset of the national radar loop all on one page, no scrolling required. That stays open as one of my pinned tabs.

  • Dis (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dohzer ( 867770 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:48PM (#56112711) Homepage

    Implement a dislike button and I'll rejoin! And none of this half-arsed "you can thumbsdown a video, but not a comment" bullshit that YouTube have implemented.

  • Now they are becoming teenagers.

    No mystery here.

  • At this point there's no one left on Facebook but moms posting kid pics and boomers writing the kind of batty political screeds that only the elderly and college kids can get away with.
  • by desdinova 216 ( 2000908 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @10:29PM (#56112889)
    of those accounts were bots?
  • by az-saguaro ( 1231754 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @11:54PM (#56113175)

    In the antediluvian days, before the great internet flood, CompuServe was center of the universe of the digital social space. I am sure that some readers are now asking "CompuWhat?" Then, in the Internet Archaic era, AOL arose to command the hearts and minds and social intercourse of the wired populace. "AOWhat?" Then came the Classical age of internet civilization, where Yahoo was the great Caesar. "Ya-What?". After the Dark Ages of the dotcom meltdown, a social media Renaissance arose with great city states like Myspace and Flickr. "Maybe your space grandpa, but not my space!"

    [To quote from the Wikipedia article about Myspace: "From 2005 to 2008, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors. . . As of January 2018, Myspace was ranked 4,153 by total Web traffic, and 1,657 in the United States."]

    Now, Facebook has arisen, to a rousing IPO, intriguing founders and principles, and a flow of money to make the robber barons of the Gilded Age blush with envy. Yet, social preeminence in the digital age would seem to be a fleeting, precarious, and uncertain thing. Of late, Facebook has garnered attention mostly for its dark and nefarious side, akin perhaps to fascism, communism, and other dubious and totalitarian social philosophies of the 20th century.

    The Greeks reminded us of the moral perils of hubris, in parables such as Daedalus and Icarus. In modern terms, "the bigger they are, the harder they fall". Given the history of internet social media in the past 20-30 years, anybody heavily invested in Facebook might want to consider their long term position. Who knows - the very existence of monolithic social media behemoths such as Facebook might be more akin to the media model of Snapchat and Instagram, here today gone tomorrow.

    • I miss USENET.
      • Me too. It's still there, but nowhere as busy and entertaining or meaningful as it used to be. There was something inherently more social about it than the current www-based "anti-social" media.

      • I miss FidoNet and their echomail areas. The first reply i got was a private message asking politely to reduce the signature, and a more then enough explanation on why was necesary. Every single bit mattered.

        Best social media ever :D

    • The inability to import my GeoCities page into MySpace was a real turn off.

  • whatever platform they go to. We're not taxing businesses enough that there's any meaningful checks on their buying power and we sure as hell aren't enforcing anti-trust laws.

    Now, if self driving cars create cheap, useful mass transit, _that's_ the death of Facebook. My kid stopped using social media when she got a car and could go see her friends without a 3 hour (one way) bus ride (if there even was a bus). I know it's popular to hate on teenagers but they're not anti-social, they've just been spread
    • My kid stopped using social media when she got a car

      I thought the current meme was that teenagers no longer care about cars, or even driver’s licenses? Interesting to see a counterpoint.

  • by cstacy ( 534252 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @03:08AM (#56113743)

    That's for old people!
    Like my parents!
    That's funny....

  • Grannybook is the cooles and hipstest thing ever!

    Everyone is on board. Your parents, your teachers, even grandma!

    Come and join this awesome world of coolness!
  • Only on Facebook does a mid-twenties birthday cake advance the clock of doom. And here I thought evolution was harsh tossing young women on the reproductive junk heap at age thirty.

  • IMO, the problem with that claim is, it doesn't adequately explain why only the younger crowd is leaving it in big numbers? Are you REALLY going to tell me that it's the 12 to 18 year olds who are the only ones who have a good grasp on the downsides of Facebook monetizing the info you post, etc. etc.??

    I think the obvious answer is that the older generation has pretty much "owned" Facebook. If you sign in and look at any random "news feed", you're going to see mainly material of interest to a crowd much old

  • I wondered why my ex-coworker/friend (who is 8 years younger than me) never used facebook for anything even though we were facebook friends. Then we were hanging out and his story mentioned something about waking up the next morning and seeing his adventures on snapchat. It was at that point I realized he uses snapchat and I use facebook. They do the same thing but you only share with who's on your network. Most weeks, if not months I forget Snapchat exists, but then again I was just wrapping up college whe

  • Who woulda thunk it! Facebook causes depression, proliferates fake news and hysteria and people are starting to notice? Amazing!

  • Everything that makes it big, like Facebook, seems to eventually grow out of its pants.
    Hey we are making some cash, let's add this and that and bloat the system to the point where its nothing like it was, at least we will be rich!
    Whatever comes around next will likely have the same issue. It will be great at first then history will repeat itself, even if the makers are aware of these issues, something will happen whether it be legal, social, etc.. There are always people that ruin it, which leads to changes

  • So, my question (as an old fart) is, where are they going? This question reflects my ignorance of some other social media (I don't do Instagram, Twitter, etc...at least not yet). I've continued on FB, not because I like it, but because it's allowed me to connect with many friends that I'd lost contact with 30-40 years ago. Is there a suitable substitute out there?

You will lose an important tape file.