U.S. Users Are Leaving Facebook, New Study Shows
Mark Zuckerberg/medium.com

Facebook’s are losing users by the millions in the United States, a new study by Edison Research claims.

Luckily for Facebook though, most of those users are switching to its other platform Instagram.

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Edison Research’s new “The Infinite Dial” study, which looks at digital media consumer behavior in America, has concluded that Facebook now has about 15 million users fewer in the U.S. than it had in 2017.

This might not be visible in Facebook’s quarterly earnings reports, which have shown tremendous growth in that period.

In January, Facebook reported it had 2.32 billion monthly active users, a 9% increase year-over-year. But those are global numbers, and Edison Research’s study looks only at users in the U.S., as explained by Edison president Larry Rosin in an interview with Marketplace. Rosin also says that their definition of “usage” may be different than Facebook’s.

“We’re asking about usage. We’re saying, “Do you currently use Facebook?” Facebook is probably measuring it on, “Do you ever open the app, or do you ever use it on any level?,”” he told Marketplace.

The study, based on a telephone survey of 1,500 people aged 12 years and older, found that about 61 percent of U.S. users aged 12 and older are using Facebook, down from 62 percent in 2018 and the 67 percent peak in 2017.

It’s worth noting that the study frequently compares 2017 numbers with today’s numbers to emphasize the big drop, which actually happened last year.

But, if the study’s findings are correct, Facebook continued to bleed users since 2018 as well, especially in the important 12-34-year-old demographic. According to the study, 79 percent of U.S. people in that demographic were on Facebook in 2017; in 2018, the number fell to 67 percent, and in 2019, it was 62 percent.

Things are looking better for Facebook when you consider where these users are going to. Some have moved on to Snapchat, which has experienced a lot of growth since 2017. But a big chunk of the 12-34-year-old demographic has moved to Instagram, with 66 percent of them using the photo-focused social network, as opposed to 62 percent last year. Pinterest and Twitter were mostly flat in the past five years, and other competitors have actually lost market share, overall.