The number of U.S. Facebook users ages 11 and younger is projected to fall 9.3%, while the number of users between 12- to 17-years-old and 18- to 24-years-old will decrease 5.6% and 5.8%, respectively, according to eMarketer. That’s the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in the number of U.S. Facebook users in those age groups.
Meanwhile, eMarketer expects Facebook Inc.-owned Instagram will add 1.6 million users ages 24 and younger. Snapchat is projected to add 1.9 million users in that age group, which means Snapchat will have more users ages 12 to 24 than Instagram.
Even so, Facebook is expected to remain the largest social network in the United States, and Instagram is projected to have a larger U.S. user base than Snapchat. The number of Instagram users is expected to jump 13.1% to 104.7 million this year. Snapchat’s user base is projected to grow 9.3% to 86.5 million.
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As young consumers increasingly use Instagram, Facebook is in the midst of a push to give retailers and other advertisers more tools to reach those Instagram users with ads. For instance, the social network is currently testing its collection ad format on Instagram with apparel retailer Revolve Clothing, No. 133 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, and online beauty products retailer Birchbox Inc., No. 199. Collection ads, which retailers such as West Elm (which is owned by Williams-Sonoma Inc., No. 23) have been testing on Facebook, feature a primary video or image above product images.
Facebook has touted the ads as a way for merchants to tell “visual product stories” and a format where they can transform their print catalogs into mobile ads. When a consumer taps on an image within the ad, she can see information about the various items within an image. For instance, a West Elm bedroom scene might feature a bed frame, quilt, rug, nightstands and lamps that a consumer could find information on. If she wants to buy an item or seek more details, she can tap Shop Now to go to the advertiser’s e-commerce site. A consumer also can scroll down the ad to tap to another “page” in the retailer’s catalog.
While collection ads on Facebook enable a retailer to feature four product photos, on Instagram the ads will only feature three, an Instagram spokeswoman says. The social network also introduced a single-tap button so that all product photos lead to the same post-click experience on Instagram, whereas on Facebook a retailer can feature separate tappable product photos. A shopper has to click off of Instagram’s Shop Now button to complete her transaction on the retailer’s e-commerce site because the social network is not presently testing the ability for a consumer to complete the transaction within Instagram.
Advertisers can use their existing collection campaigns from Facebook on Instagram, the spokeswoman says.