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Last Updated : Mar 13, 2019 05:44 PM IST | Source:

DATA STORY | Facebook is experiencing exodus of young users in US. Is India following suit?

In terms of active users, however, Facebook continues to be on the top with over 2.27 billion users.

Anupa Kujur @AnupaSagarKujur

Anupa Kujur

Moneycontrol News

Social media giant Facebook is experiencing an exodus of young users in the US with the company's user base falling by an estimated 15 million in the past couple of years.

The percentage of the American population aged over 12 who used Facebook reduced to 61 percent in 2019 from 67 percent in 2017, according to a report by Edison Research released last week.


According to the report, 79 percent of users in age group of 12 to 34 used Facebook in 2017 but the figure has now declined to 62 percent. Meanwhile, the user share in the 35-54 age bracket has come down to 69 percent from 72 percent in 2017.

Interestingly, the share of people aged 55 and above using Facebook has gone up. While it might be a bit of a stretch to describe Facebook as social media's retirement home, the users aged 55 years and above increased from 49 percent to 53 percent between 2018 and 2019.


The report noted that the number of Facebook users in the US has been declining over the past few years. Back home in India, however, the trend seems to move in the opposite direction.

India has the highest number of Facebook users across the world at 300 million as of 2019, according to Digital 2019: Global Digital Overview. It is estimated that the number of Facebook users in India is expected to reach 444.2 million by 2023.

Globally, Facebook is the most popular social networking platform, followed by YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. In India too, Facebook has the highest number of active users as of 2019.

Similar to the US, there has been a rise in the number of Facebook users aged 55 and above in India, but the number of such users is well below 50 million. It indicates that India is far behind the US in following a declining trend in the number of youths using Facebook.


Source: Statista.

Considering Facebook's low penetration (30 percent) and the rising young population in the country, the company may well have a lot of ground to cover before it meets a similar fate in India, where youths stop using the platform.

Having said that, Facebook has been facing tough competition from YouTube, its other platforms -- WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, as well as, new social networking platforms such as WeChat, Reddit, Tik Toc, and Twitter.

With more specific apps coming up such as YouTue for music, Snapchat for stories and Instagram for posting pictures, users are signing up for them for a different experience. Over 70 percent of the US population within 12-34 years were reported having used YouTube specifically for music in a week, as per the Edison Research.

There has also been a rise in the percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet). In the US, such an audience has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds.

In terms of active users, however, Facebook continues to be on the top on the chain across the globe with over 2.27 billion users. YouTube is closely following the social media giant with 1.9 billion users, followed by WhatsApp at 1.5 billion users and Facebook Messenger at 1.3 billion users.

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First Published on Mar 13, 2019 05:27 pm
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