You get up in the morning. You sleepily make your morning coffee. While you drink it, you scroll down your Facebook feed – what have your friends been up to?
The social media platform has become a permanent part of our daily routine. It’s hard to imagine a world without it, isn’t it?
Who doesn’t have a Facebook account these days?
And how many Americans use Facebook? Almost every single one, right?
What if I told you Facebook’s popularity is declining? And it won’t be the top social media for much longer?
It might’ve been the first social media to get more than 1 billion registered accounts, but younger generations find it a bit old-fashioned.
All the scandals around its security didn’t help either.
I embarked on a mission to find out how many Americans use Facebook and if it truly is losing its popularity.
A research I did in advance of my journey showed me a few important things:
- Facebook has lost 15 million users since 2017.
- 12.8 million US teens are on Instagram.
- 93.55 million of all Snapchat users are Americans.
- 44% of users between 18 and 29 have deleted the Facebook app.
- 56% of the US citizens over 65 are on Facebook.
- 81% of adults in America have Facebook accounts.
- 68% of Americans use Facebook as a whole.
Want to find out more?
Come, join me on an adventure.
Facebook Is the King in the Social Media Realm
Or is it?
We begin our journey in a world, where Facebook is thought to be the king.
Facebook statistics show that more than two billion users have an account, 65 million businesses have Facebook pages and advertisers are crazy about it.
Most of our friends and relatives are on Facebook. As I’m writing this, the unmistakable sound of Messenger chimes in the otherwise silent room. As you’re reading this, you’ll probably hear the same sound coming from your phone too.
Facebook offers it all, doesn’t it?
It has its own chat app and Stories, and live videos, and no character limit for posts. What more can you ask for?
It sounds like a fully functional kingdom, that takes care of the needs of its subjects.
Facebook has a mobile app. Facebook also has a desktop version.
Why would anyone want to leave?
Well, over the last two years some 15 million of its users found a reason why.
As the great Freddie Mercury sang, 🎶 scandal – now you’ve left me all the world’s gonna know 🎶
But why is that?
The scenery is slowly changing, as we’re entering the darker parts of Facebook’s kingdom.
Security Issues and the Creepy Ads
It’s no secret, castle Facebook is not the best-guarded one.
One does not simply forget the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
87 million Facebook users’ data got leaked to Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica at that time was a British political consulting firm, working on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
You can see where the problem lies.
It wasn’t the first privacy breach. It was one of many. Although Mark Zuckerberg is swearing left and right it won’t ever happen again, he’s lost his users’ trust.
Let’s also not forget how alarmingly well Facebook targets ads sometimes.
Imagine this situation.
You’re out for coffee with friends. At some point, someone mentions they need to buy new bed sheets. The topic changes, the conversation moves on.
Later the same day you open Facebook and it’s full of ads for bed sheets.
Sounds a bit creepy, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s a true story that happened to me. I know of several similarly creepy incidents. It might have happened to you or to some of your friends too.
Don’t know about you, but I am not very comfortable with that. Neither with the fact that my personal data can be leaked at any given moment.
Besides being weirdly intrusive, the ads on Facebook are just too many. And now they’ve started popping up in Messenger too!
These days you see more ads than posts from the people and pages you care about.
That’s not what we signed up for.
What happens with the people, after they lose trust in their king?
They elect a better one. (Guess what happens to the old one then.)
Or they leave the kingdom.
To lose 15 million users is no joke and is surely a huge hit on Facebook’s usage statistics.
How many Americans are on Facebook?
For now, that is.
Where are the people heading though?
The Youth Are Migrating
As our road is getting darker, we can’t help but notice something very weird.
There aren’t many young people in this kingdom.
So where are they, if not in the land of Facebook kingdom?
They’ve moved to other kingdoms, a.k.a other social media platforms.
Our path slowly changes and we’re entering a quite different world.
What’s with all the cats all of a sudden?
Oh, I see, this is Instagram.
How many people use Instagram?
It’s obviously following in Facebook’s footsteps.
There are a few pretty good reasons for the surging popularity of the app.
Instagram’s kingdom is safer than Facebook’s.
Sure, it’s not perfect and there have been some leaks. But nothing quite as serious as Facebook’s. Instagram is also a more open platform.
It has trending topics, posts, videos, and it also gives pretty good recommendations about who and what to follow.
Besides, most celebrities are on Instagram. Every self-respecting influencer is on Instagram. Brands are on Instagram. Fashion trends start on Instagram. Makeup trends start on Instagram.
It’s no wonder teens adore it. It’s where everything is happening currently.
Instagram also allows you to tap into your creative side. In a world of phones that have 2, 3 and even 4 cameras, we take pictures of basically anything.
Even our lunch.
Nobody cares about my lunch.
I’m still going to take a photo and post it to my story.
Many take pride in their beautiful and coherent Instagram feed. There are even guides online on how to have an Instagram theme, with a certain color palette and all. I’m not kidding, you can Google it.
Has anyone ever encountered a guide on how to make your Facebook profile pretty? No?
Instagram is all about building an image. It plays perfectly with our natural vanity.
And we’re falling for it.
Isn’t Instagram owned by Facebook?
Yes. Yes, it is.
Now I have a tricky question:
Is Instagram really dethroning Facebook if Facebook owns Instagram?
I’ll let you come up with an answer on your own.
However, the time has come to continue our journey. We’re leaving the land of cats and lunches.
Suddenly we have dog ears and our voices sound unnatural.
We’ve reached Snapchat’s kingdom.
In April 2019, Snapchat hit 93.55 million US users. 41% of the teens in the US point to Snapchat as their favorite social media.
Quite different from the demographics in the land of Facebook.
The first thing we notice in the kingdom of filters is there aren’t many adults here. Quite the stark contrast from where we began.
Here comes an outrageous idea:
Did teens leave Facebook because their parents started using it?
Guess we’ll never know.
The thing about Snapchat is that it’s just so fun.
When I was young, mommy told me I could be anything I want to be.
Snapchat made that possible.
There are numerous photo filters. Form the oh-so-famous one with the dog ears to the gender swapping one, which kept millions of users entertained for at least a week.
Snapchat also has its own messaging system, which comes within the app itself. No need to download a second app, just to chat with friends. Ahem.
Let’s not also forget that Snapchat was the birthplace of Stories as a feature. Something that later showed up on both Facebook and Instagram.
And then there’s the main thing that drew users to Snapchat – the photos you send, that disappear a few seconds after the receiver opens them up.
Unless you screenshot them that is, but we’re not gonna dwell on that.
So what does this information tell us about Facebook demographics?
Slowly we retreat back to our initial starting point.
Who’s Left in the Land of Facebook?
Back to Facebook’s kingdom. A place with noticeably fewer cats and filters.
When it first became public, Facebook was huge among millennials.
Back in 2006, if we had to divide Facebooks users by age groups, most of them would’ve been in the “Teen” category. What’s trendy depended on their choices.
The thing is, most millennials are now nearing 30. And a big part of them are not staying on Facebook.
So Facebook demographics have changed a bit.
Right now, Facebook consists mainly of adults. And I’m talking adult adults, not millennials trying to adult.
In fact, 64% of people between 50 and 64 use Facebook. Mostly women, with 83% females and 75% males using the social media platform.
Shockingly, 56% of the citizens over 65 also have Facebook accounts.
81% of American adults are on Facebook. Their children, however, mainly use it to communicate with their parents and relatives.
What does this tell us?
The future of our current leader Facebook looks fairly uncertain. After so many data breach scandals and the flood of ads, its main driving power is lost. Young users are slowly leaving.
While Instagram might not pose as such a big threat, Snapchat surely does.
And let’s not forget newcomers, such as Tik Tok. It filled the gap that Vine left and is now the newest fashion. It has stickers, polls and most of the trendy things that other app’s Stories offer.
So Facebook better watch out.
We embarked on this journey with the mission to find out how many Americans use Facebook.
The short answer to this would be 68%.
But as teens and youngsters are slowly but surely losing interest in Facebook, this number is expected to decline.
Instagram and Snapchat have already gained a steady userbase of teens. New apps and competitors are constantly popping up.
Hopefully, our mission to find out how many Americans use Facebook was useful to you.
Till next time!