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People Are Spending Less Time on Facebook

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May. 29 2019, Updated 12:17 p.m. ET

US adults spend less time on Facebook

Facebook’s (FB) popularity, especially among younger users, has been declining. That cohort seems to prefer Facebook-owned Instagram or Snap’s (SNAP) Snapchat.

According to eMarketer, US adults’ average daily time spent on Facebook fell by three minutes last year from 41 minutes to 38 minutes. However, the research house expects that metric to be stable over the next few years, blaming the time decrease on the social media giant’s “move last year to discourage passive consumption of content.” Facebook is hoping to improve users’ quality of time spent on the platform.

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Instagram improves engagement

On average, users still spend more time on Facebook than Instagram or Snapchat, but users are spending more time on Instagram than they used to. According to eMarketer, US adults spend an average of 26 minutes per day on Instagram, compared with 25 minutes last year, and this number is set to rise to 29 minutes in 2021.

The higher engagement could help Facebook gain more ad dollars through Instagram, now its biggest growth driver. US markets are important for both Facebook and Snapchat, and are by far their most lucrative.

Meanwhile, users’ time spent on Snapchat has stayed at 26 minutes since last year, and eMarketer expects this number to be constant over the next few years. However, Snapchat has taken a few steps that could help retain its existing users and improve engagement.

This year has been good for social media companies, with Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter stocks surging. User metrics have improved since last year and there have been fewer controversies.

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