Facebook Is Not As Indispensable As It Once Was

November 5, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Europe & Middle East | Social Media | UK | Youth & Gen X

Although 7 in 10 US adults are still using Facebook, the appeal it once had has deteriorated. A study by AudienceProject of 13,000 social media users from the US and Europe, ages 15 and older, illustrates that Facebook is not as indispensable as it was in the not-so-distant past.

In 2017, 26% of respondents in the US said that Facebook was one of their three most indispensable apps. Two years later, that percentage has dropped to 21%. Other countries have seen a more dramatic drop in preference. While 21% of respondents from Norway consider Facebook one of their top 3 apps this year, two years ago a considerably higher 32% of respondents felt that way. Similarly, in the UK, Facebook’s importance has fallen from 32% in 2017 to 23% in 2019.

Last year, Pew Research reported that 47% of Facebook users in the US ages 18-29 years old had taken a break from Facebook for several weeks or more. The data from AudienceProject also finds that this younger age group (18-25 years old for this study) are the ones most comfortable going without Facebook. Only about one-fifth of these young social media users say that Facebook is the social media platform they can least do without.

For US teens in particular, Facebook loses out to the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter as their favorite social media platform. A more recent study also found that only 31% of US teens are using Facebook compared to much higher numbers using Instagram (85%) and Snapchat (81%).

By contrast, older generations are a little more attached to Facebook. Among 46-55-year-olds responding to the AudienceProject survey, 3 in 10 say that they could least do without Facebook, while one-third (32%) of three other age groups, (26-35-year-olds, 36-45-year-olds and those over 56 years old) say that Facebook is the platform they could least do without.

For more details, download the full study here.

About the Data: The study is based on approximately 13,000 individual survey respondents from the US, UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

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