Millenials don't love Facebook but spend a ton of time there

Steven Loeb · March 30, 2016 · Short URL:

Facebook's percentage of younger users is low, but they spent 5x more time there than other networks

Editor's Note: Our annual Vator Splash Spring 2016 conference is around the corner on May 12, 2016 at the historic Scottish Rite Center in Oakland. Speakers include Nigel Eccles (CEO & Co-founder, FanDuel, Andy Dunn (Founder & CEO, Bonobos), Mitch Kapor (Founder, Kapor Center for Social Impact); Founders of NextDoor, Handy, TubeMogul; Investors from Khosla Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners, Kapor Capital, Greylock, DFJ, IDG, IVP and more! Join us! REGISTER HERE

We've been hearing for a long time now that Facebook just isn't as popular among young people as it used to be, which is something that made sense. I got on Facebook when I was 18 years old. Since then, my mother, and her friends, have all invaded.

I go on there now basically because it's where all of my friends are, but, if I were younger, I'm not sure it would be my social media network of choice due to it no longer having the same cache as it once did. It's definitely not as cool as when I was in college. 

New data out from comScore on Wednesday shows that the anti-Facebook rebellion among young people may be a bit overblown, at least when it comes to so-called Millennials (oh how I hate that term!), who spend an awful lot of time on the network. 

In fact, among those aged 18 to 34, Facebook still remains, far and way, the network that they spend the most time on, coming close to nearly 1,000 minutes per visitor, per month. Only two other networks even reach 200 minutes, Snapchat and Instagram. LinkedIn and Vine seem perilously close to zero. 

Of course, that could be the very nature of Facebook itself, which has a long feed of content to offer, and articles to read. It's the kind of site that you keep open longer than, say, a Snapchat.

The problem with lumping 18 to 34 year olds together, though, is that it's a very big age range. I'm 29, and I absolutely nothing in common with an 18 year old, and a 34 year old would have even less. Those are very different stages of life, and what kind of things you would be interested in. 

When broken down by age group, it seems like Facebook may actually have a problem after all. Only 16.5 percent of its users are 18 to 24, tied with Pinterest for the second-smallest percentage (only LinkedIn is lower with 15.5 percent).

In the next age group, 25 to 34 years old, it actually comes in last, with 20.3 percent.

The big winner in both of those age groups is Snapchat, with nearly half, a whopping 46.8 percent, of its users in the youngest bracket, and another 29.2 percent in the next highest. 

Adding up the two age brackets, Facebook has 36.8 percent of its audience aged 18 to 35. On Pinterest and Twitter that's 40.4 percent, and on Snapchat it's a whopping 76 percent Millenial audience. 

For the 18 to 24 year olds, Snapchat has a 64 percent reach, meaning that is the percent that has the Snapchat app on their phone, up from 24 percent in early 2013. Among the 25 to 34 year olds, it's 31 percent. After that it falls off a cliff, at just 8 percent. 

Basically the data seems mixed. While younger people spend a lot of time on Facebook, the network is seeing a lower percentage of young people than its rivals. That could be a problem down the line, but right now Facebook is still blowing away its rivals.

It's properties, meaning the flagship Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, make up accounts for 1 in every 6 minutes, 17.2 percent, spent online, and more than 1 in 5 minutes, 21.2 percent, spent on mobile. 

Ultimately, Facebook has got 1.55 billion worldwide monthly users, and is expected to reach half the entire population in the United States this year, or 162.9 million people. So, yeah, it's perfectly fine, for now. 

Once those age brackets, start to move up, though, and today's teens, the ones that are obsessed with Snapchat, become tomorrow's college students, Facebook might just see itself get aged out entirely. 

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes