If your small business relies on marketing to teenagers, you may want to think of any strategy that avoids Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).
According to new eMarketer research , this will be the first year that less than half of internet users between the ages of 12 and 17 will use Facebook.
That figure doesn’t mean the social media site is dead by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Facebook continues to add users at a positive rate. The data shows that 169.5 million users will access Facebook this year. That’s up only 1 percent over last year but it’s still growth, nonetheless.
And that number of users certainly shouldn’t scare you off marketing your business on Facebook. If anything, it should encourage you to think longer about marketing your company there. You may not reach the teens who are looking for other social media sites but you likely will reach the parents of those teens.
Digging deeper, eMarketer’s numbers show that Facebook will lose 2 million users under the age of 25.
With Less Teens on Facebook, Where are They?
So, what are the kids into these days?
It’s not so much Instagram  that’s the alternative to Facebook. Instead, Snapchat  is encroaching on potentially younger Facebook users. eMarketer expects Snapchat to add 1.9 million users under the age of 25 this year. Instagram will add 1.6 million, according to their data.
Of course, there may come a time very soon when those younger users who are going to Snapchat or Instagram today will choose a different site. It seems no one from a younger generation wants to use the site that’s most popular among their elders.
Just like kids don’t want to be on the same site as their parents (today, Facebook), that same theory could apply to today’s popular kid-friendly social sites.
“Snapchat could eventually experience more growth in older age groups, since it’s redesigning its platform to be easier to use,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson says in a company blog post. “The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it. That’s the predicament Facebook is in.”
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