More Than 11 Million Young People Have Fled Facebook Since 2011

According to one analyst estimate

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JOEL SAGET / AFP / Getty Images

Skeptics of Facebook’s business model have long pointed to anecdotal evidence that the social network is losing its luster with teens as evidence that the firm will ultimately be unable to justify its $140 billion valuation. Indeed, even Facebook itself admitted last fall that it had lost younger users. “We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens,” Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman said during a call with analysts.

But it’s always been difficult to gauge exactly what the magnitude of this lost interest has been. On Wednesday, the digital consultancy iStrategy Labs released a study that draws from Facebook’s Social Advertising platform to glean exactly how many young users have left the social network in recent years. The resulting estimates are pretty staggering. According to iStrategy, Facebook has 4,292,080 fewer high-school aged users and 6,948,848 college-aged users than it did in 2011. Check out the data below:

istrategy study

Advertisers covet younger audiences because their taste in products are more malleable, so these data could have a significant effect on the ad rates Facebook can charge.

On the other hand, advertising on Facebook isn’t just about its massive reach with younger users. A big part of Facebook’s pitch is that it has so much information about its users that it can more effectively target ads to those who will be responsive to the content. If Facebook can prove that theory to be true, then it may not worry so much about losing its cool cachet.

128 comments
stuck.in.norcal
stuck.in.norcal

I quit because of many reasons. I was included in the class action lawsuit because Facebook was selling my photos. Facebook staff admitted to doing psychological experimentation on its users. Facebook is now little more than mindless memes, one-liners, and endless argumentation. I can get all of the benefits of Facebook (ex- keeping up with friends) merely by spending more time with them. And finally, I'm not cool with their biased censorship policies. Censorship is not cool to begin with. But controlling which stories appear in people's feeds and having different nudity policies based on gender is not okay. I've noticed, in the month or so that I've been off of Facebook (or longer?), that I already feel more positive. Facebook was a leech that I'm more than happy to get rid of.


I recommend doing the same if you feel this way. I know it's hard to quit. But when you do, you'll feel better for it.

charliebubbles
charliebubbles

Security .... selling your customers information is a disgusting business act .. we deleted FB because of this reason, lack of respect for users privacy is despicable.. there are more to leave in the coming weeks. goodluck FB your the next myspace.  

MaryPack
MaryPack

I didn't even read the whole article. I've been on FB for a while and it "SUCKS" It's a dead zone to connections with family and games that don't work and haven't been fixed in YEARSSSSSSSSSSSSSS and why in the "F" don't the head Honcho's know how to navigate to getting people to visit and stay on FB. Because the 1st concern is how to rook the public. Games don't work and once you get on one of their "VILLE" games you can't even play for the pop ups wanting  your sorry ass money. It has to be run by the rich because they have no clue of how to attract the middle and lower caste.What don't the rich know kids have cell phones that fly. Why the hell would they want the BS on FB. Get updated programming. What the hell you need people with common sense. I'm sick sick sick of Fb and soon as an old person to also be long long gone 

JoshuaBurton
JoshuaBurton

 I think it has been well known to younger people for years that Facebook isn't the playground it once was. There is a reason FB added the feature that allows you to change who sees your posts. This was an effective method to hide certain activity from family/coworkers/dumb friends. 

Here's an article on Lamebook, which kind of highlights the idiots on Facebook and often lampoons the elders that exist on the social network shared by their younger counterparts.

http://blog.mywebroom.com/2014/03/12/lamebook-where-facebook-goes-to-facepalm/

IdiosyncraticJess
IdiosyncraticJess

I don't think Facebook is a bad media to use, it can be very helpful and financially beneficial… however, teens see that there parents use it and they want to get away from their parents, so twitter and elsewhere will do.

BobolaOnigold
BobolaOnigold

So, how does this affect a social network of about 1.2 billion users globally? Can you someone track the amount of young people Facebook gained within that period? 

anniehall21
anniehall21

i think it's unfair to lump 25 year olds with people in their 30s. that is almost a decade difference in that group.

mo976nol
mo976nol

I just closed my Facebook account recently and I feel like never before knowing that people don't have access to my personal informations by just typing my name , all was there no post card needed for family and the nosy people have more opportunity to check up on you ;) they have the most fun 

ronit
ronit

facebook became very furstating when it came to stock market then actual idea of college going boy replaced by greedy stake holders. Then they removed privacy ,made us like nude . And i can see ,completely old aged people replaced the younger ones. Every old people is now dominating the friendly past nature of fb.with their complaints and retarded nature.


It was good when it has friendly in nature but not it became an crying box with spying older nasty parents. There is no space at all.

ttkrishnan
ttkrishnan

Does it mean that the flocking of the elderly people into Facebook led to the fleeing of the young? Well the oldies just wanted to mingle with the young so as to not feel old. :)

AnthonyAnderson1
AnthonyAnderson1

With more than 11 million young people fleeing Facebook since 2011, Twitter/Tumblr refugee camps are now said to be dangerously overcrowded with selfies. Pitch This!

the-dude77
the-dude77

Stopped using Facebook 2 years ago and it was the best thing i could have done. I'm always ahead of the Digital Curve so no doubt the rest of you will follow suit sometime soon.


Facebook - Its such a waste of time and energy!!

HenriDeschamps
HenriDeschamps

"People don’t like Facebook. The total effect of Facebook’s features, functions and design is strongly negative. People love using Facebook because they love the other people who use Facebook. And that’s why Facebook feels like a “bubble” that’s overdue for a collapse. Facebook is suffering from a quiet abandonment. It’s quiet because most people who leave maintain their accounts and pretend to use the site for the benefit of those left behind - parents, grandparents, co-workers and so on." • http://goo.gl/Gm3N9j • Facebook Bubble Burst

sriranjit.rajkumar
sriranjit.rajkumar

Bottomline: Socialising through internet and gadgets cannot suffice for what live communication; i. e one-on-one personal  interaction does. This is something that numbers can never explain and greedy big corporations will never get or care about. People barely sit and talk in social settings these days, pretending to be preoccupied with something rather important on their "lsocial life" on personal gadgets. That infact is defeating the purpose, for which they're originally intended to be used for. So regardless of age, sooner or later, people are going to choose not to rely on fads of social networking and opt for better means to maintain relationships.


ErasmusPeriwinkle
ErasmusPeriwinkle

It's not just the loss of younger users that FB needs to be worried about... look at the numbers:

28.8% growth in males.

80.4% growth in those 55 and older.

230.4% growth in those interested in sex.

FB in increasingly becoming populated by a bunch of old perverts... no wonder the younger generation is leaving!

gorks4yes
gorks4yes

I especially like those "unkown" people; the kown folks are boring.  ;)

#sarcasm

stormhaven
stormhaven

People are becoming more protective of their privacy these days--even some of the more prudent young ones.  I wish I knew how to take myself off of the blankety-blank thing and disappear into the ozone of anonymity again. With all the fraud, bullying and theft going on, maybe the kids are starting to "get it" that there are evil people out there doing awful things---potentially to THEM!  At some point, kids grow up and want more sophisticated and private ways of displaying their lives!  Everything is a pendulum that swings one way or the other.  Maybe we are now on the backswing to better times!

josephandernest
josephandernest

FACEBOOK is a STUPID concept for STUPID people.  Only people sick in their minds would use such a program, inputting personal information for everyone on earth to see.  Who really care about their daily personal doings.  Those people need something productive to keep them busy and should learn to use their input devices more creatively..

cruzkit
cruzkit

Once your mom thinks something "cool" it instantly isn't. Facebook has become a place for older people to hang out and show off or complain about things. Most of the people I work for are now on Facebook... their kids... Not so much. Tumblr and Pinterest is where I am starting to hang out now... I have yet to tell my kids...

DocVu
DocVu

I would be very interested in knowing of people even look at ads on these Web sites, who has time when most people are using cell phones are doing quick looks at w,ork or in a car, I believe its all a waste, people only pay attention to television, print and radio.

jennyfish10
jennyfish10

I think your title is a little misleading. I don't think these users have actually "fled." I think they've just grown up and no longer fall into those categories. The problem is that Facebook isn't gaining new young members, not that it's losing current ones.

eagle11772
eagle11772

I've never been on facebook.  will never use it.

chrispy
chrispy

Honestly, I see more people using Ravetree and EveryMe than I do Facebook.

DavidFullam
DavidFullam

Yawn. Another FB is soon to die article. Remember how Google Plus was supposed to slay FaceBook?

muggzewoo
muggzewoo

Im still on Facebook to keep in contact with old friends, but besides that, I've become an avid Google+ user. I don't have any of my "friends" on Google+ but I am connected to many circles who have useful information from science, fitness, sports, Photography, entertainment etc. G+ isn't smothered and covered in ads like Facebook has become, and the circles I'm connected to don't spend their days B*tching or complaining about life or updating every moment of what's going on in their lives. Once you figure G+ out, it's quite a fun social network to use.

CITADEL4U
CITADEL4U

And there lies the problem.

Where does Facebook get all their info about users?

Answer: by stealing it, ease dropping, and violating the security of its users.


Seems like only the under 25 set have figured that out and said: "Bye to FACEBOOK." 

RalphGizzip
RalphGizzip

Facebook is handy for a few things but if someone thinks they're going to rip off my identity they're in for a rude surprise.  My digital footprint and my RL footprint are made by two totally different feet.  And never the twain shall meet.

sharpshooter
sharpshooter

I left face book due to the fact that I tried for two years to eliminate an account for a deceased spouse and was unable to, to this day. Their tech support, or what ever is basically non existent.

GaryPifer
GaryPifer

My friends from the 1970's are all on facebook. On the other hand my 18 yo Nephew thinks it sucks.

scott41863
scott41863

Why wouldn't teens move on. They don't exactly have a long attention span. Besides why would you be a teen and post on a site your parents are on? No doubt the smarter people are also leaving because of privacy settings that don't exactly default to protecting your privacy. If I had to guess, I would say the NSA has significantly invaded social sites like Facebook.

EricAnderson
EricAnderson

Oh, no!  They're losing the drub-abusing teens! 

AZWarrior
AZWarrior

Facebook, it's just for your grandparents, identity thieves, and the NSA. 

libertarian4freedom
libertarian4freedom

maybe some young kids are actually growing some brain cells,

and saying.....gee.....

I didn't like my parents spying on me.....

so why would I like FB to give my info to the gov to spy on me??????

dionysiuspetros
dionysiuspetros

These are just kids, who are too immature to recognize that an open and honest relationship with their parents is a good thing, escaping to other methods of hiding what they think, say and do.

It is the next evolution of western societal downfall.

MelissaToughLoveLipnutz
MelissaToughLoveLipnutz

What kind of fool would use their real identity online? No sense making it too easy for the enemy.

MithRandir2014
MithRandir2014

Self-collect data and profile for the F.B.I. --Great....

Crosscut
Crosscut

Facebook is just a fad and something else will come along to replace it.

MaryPack
MaryPack

@the-dude77  Dude77 I'm about to leave it to. My sis will have to hotmail or gmail me. FB is so old and tired in fact it feels like my 61 year old self dies when i visit FB

christopher.shelton
christopher.shelton

It's not backed up by the math though. The situation appears to be more complicated than you suggest.

The 18-24 group actually has about 10 million more members now than it would have under your model. The 25-34 group has just a bit fewer members than it would have if age were the only variable that was changing. The 35-54 group has far more members than it should have, and the final category is most difficult to analyze because it's hard to know what percentage of people "aged out" (ie. died). But if we set the cutoff around 75, there are 10 million more people than belong. Even if every single one of facebook's users over 55 from 2011 are still using the service, there are still more now than can be accounted for simply by aging.

The numbers indicate that indeed, fewer 13-17 year olds are signing up, but that enough 18-24 yr olds are creating new accounts to cover the difference. However, by the time they reach 25 they are canceling acounts too fast for the next age group to replace them. After that each category is signing up plenty more users than it is losing.

So the numbers really do indicate that, along with fewer new highschool aged members, a lot of people are checking out of facebook right around the time they finish college, and that all of facebook's actual growth is coming from new members in the older categories.

stormhaven
stormhaven

@scott41863  You are right about that!  Any time you hear that an employer has to have your Facebook password should be a giant red flag to anyone!  How do you think so many people have had reputations ruined by someone wanting to causing trouble posting some false story about another person?  Lots of sociopaths on Facebook.

rattstone
rattstone

@Crosscut, exactly,

All these young kids are on their IPhones, Androids or Samsungs  they don't need FB anymore.