Six out of ten Internet users aged 16 and over in Germany use Facebook according to their own information. The market share of the social network has landed at an all-time low for the second year in a row. Across all age groups, Facebook can stabilize itself at a low level – but the decline of recent years continues among teenagers. In the group of users between 16 and 19 years of age, Facebook loses another four percentage points: Only 32 percent of online users of this age use the dinosaur on social media. For the first time, Instagram is also losing market share in this target group. The service is also part of the Zuckerberg empire and has been particularly popular with teenagers so far. These are the results of the current Social Media Atlas 2021 from Hamburg Communication Consulting Factual account and the market researcher Toluna, for which 3,500 internet users were asked about their social media usage.
Over 30 network: Facebook primarily appeals to users between 30 and 39
Also declining: the proportion of twenties who say they use Facebook. It fell by five percentage points to 68 percent. In contrast, the social network increased by three percentage points for Internet users in their 30s. The service with the white f is now most successful in this generation: three out of four online users between the ages of 30 and 39 use Facebook – more than in any other age group. Until 2014, the teenagers held this top spot. In the older age groups, however, there is hardly any movement: between 40 and 49, 65 percent of online users use Facebook (+1), between 50 and 59 it is 61 percent (+2), and from 60 years 45 percent (-1).
Facebook alone is not a social media strategy
The obsolescence of the network’s user base, which has been visible since 2015, continues. “The continuing dwindling acceptance among teenagers and twenties shows: Facebook is no longer a universal solution in social media communication,” says Dr. Roland Heintze, managing partner of the fact office. “In order to reach all target groups, their preferred channels in the social web must be identified and appropriately used. And especially for the youngest, this is not Facebook. ”
Social media usage: Instagram’s days as Facebook’s teen magnet are coming to an end
Attempts to make the Facebook network attractive again for younger people have so far failed. But as a company, Facebook has recently been able to compensate for the weakness by acquiring other social media services that are more successful in this target group. Instagram in particular has proven to be a lifeline to teenagers in recent years. But that time is already over: Instagram no longer saves the company Facebook from the loss of young people.
Overall, Instagram can expand its market position: 46 percent of all online users aged 16 and over use Facebook’s little brother, six percent more than in the previous year. And use is also increasing in almost all age groups – with the exception of one: teenagers. With the youngest, Instagram’s market share collapses by a hefty eleven percentage points after years of continuous growth. 80 percent of 16 to 19-year-old online users in Germany use “Insta”. Not a bad rate in and of itself – but far from the previous year’s figure of 91 percent. The teenagers fall behind the 20 to 29 year olds with 82 percent as the age group with the greatest affinity for Instagram.
Social media usage: Chasing the youngest target group is like a game of rabbits and hedgehogs
The current user development on Instagram is strikingly similar to that of Facebook in 2015. In both cases, the market shares among older people are still increasing, but are already falling among teenagers. In the case of Facebook, this turned out to be the first harbinger of the general decline in users and the increasing alienation from young people. Roland Heintze assumes that this development will also be reflected in Instagram. “In the hunt for the lucrative and strategically important youngest target group, Facebook as a company is caught in an eternal rabbit-and-hedgehog game with short cycles. No solution will ever be permanent, ”said the social media expert. “The battle for the top spot in social media use by the youngest will be held every six years with completely new competitors. And as long as Facebook does not develop its own killer apps for teenagers again, it will have to keep buying them in order to stay ahead and not lose touch in the long run. ”
Via the social media atlas
The Social Media Atlas has been recording the use of social media in Germany every year since 2011 on the basis of a representative survey and serves companies as an indispensable basis for strategic planning of their social media activities. Among other things, the study provides reliable facts about which Web 2.0 services are used by whom and how intensively, which topics are discussed on which channels and to what extent social media influence purchasing decisions. The social media atlas is published by the consultancy company Faktenkontor and the market researcher Toluna in cooperation with the IMWF Institute for Management and Economic Research.
Also read: Social Media Trends – How Experts Assess the Future.