Facebook is losing younger users in Germany and France

eMarketer has downgraded Facebook user growth in both France and Germany, due to declines among younger age groups as they shift their usage to other platforms. Total user growth for the platform will essentially be flat in both countries, according to its latest social user forecast.

  • The total number of Facebook users in Germany will grow just 0.1% this year to 26.8 million, an addition of about 20,000 users.
  • The most significant drop will affect users 12 to 17, who will be down 9.1% year over year. That’s a loss of around 170,600 users in the 12-17 bracket.
  • Adoption among older users is failing to pick up the slack. In 2019, the number of Facebook users 35 and older will grow by just 2.6%, a significant slowdown from 4.7% last year.

The story is similar in France, but user growth will turn negative sooner than in Germany.

  • The total number of Facebook users will drop this year for the first time by 0.2% to 28.0 million people driven by users under 18 leaving the platform.
  • The number of users under 11 will drop by 2.7% this year, while the number of those ages 12 to 17 will drop by 9.3%—the largest decline of any age group.
  • By next year, the percentage of internet users in France ages 12 to 17 using Facebook will drop below 50%. The decline in total Facebook users in France will continue through 2023, dropping to 27.9 million that year.

The good news for Facebook is that Instagram will pick up at least some of the lost core Facebook users in both France and Germany. The question is whether Instagram can continue making up for Facebook’s losses. Competing platforms like Snapchat are diversifying their services and other digital entertainment options, including video and messaging, and continue to capture consumer attention.

Jasmine Enberg, senior analyst, eMarketer