Facebook is struggling to compete with Snapchat and Instagram for the attention of teenagers.

According to American research firm eMarketer, Facebook's monthly users aged between 12-17 will fall 3.4 million to 14.5 million by the end of 2017. They named Snapchat and Instagram as the main benefactors of Facebook's decline.

"I don't have any friends that use Facebook," 14-year old social media user Rose told news.com.au.

"It is a bit unusual when someone our age says they have Facebook. Most people ask: 'Why do you have Facebook if hardly anyone has it anymore?' or 'Why don't you just use Instagram?'"


Facebook has disputed the findings.

Speaking to news.com.au, the group cited research from 2016 conducted by the Australian eSafety Commissioner, which found 90 per cent of Australian teens aged 14-17 used Facebook.

However, "having a Facebook account and actually using Facebook are two different things", Felicity Duncan, an assistant Professor of Social Media wrote in The Conversation.

A lower 56 per cent of teens said Facebook was their "main social media account" Almost 20 per cent preferred Snapchat, and 11 per cent preferred Instagram.

So although Facebook is still relatively popular among teenagers — they don't have the cool factor they once had. And instead of Facebook being the internet's go-to social network, Snapchat and Instagram are becoming popular complements.

Facebook has noticed. The platform successfully purchased Instagram in 2012. It also reportedly tried to acquire Snapchat in 2013, but was unsuccessful.

One reason for Snapchat and Instagram's success is Facebook's recent demographic shift. According to a study by Pew Research Centre, 61 per cent of Americans aged 50-64 have Facebook.

"Facebook has a less 'cool' factor because mum, dad, aunty and uncle are on it. You won't find them anywhere near Snapchat, they just don't get it," Global Futurist Chris Riddell told news.com.au.


Rose described Facebook as "old," having been "taken over by older people". She admitted that the number of Facebook users in her friendship group might increase in the future, "but not by a lot".

"Older generations use Facebook, which makes younger generations think it is outdated and not targeted towards their age group," she said.

"Snapchat and Instagram are trendy and easy to use," Rose said. "No one speaks about Facebook anymore, and not many people know how to use it."

Snapchat allows users to send photos to their friends that can only be viewed for a set amount of time.