Facebook might be bleeding US users, but most of them are switching to Instagram1
But even though the tech giant has faced criticism for multiple dubious practices leading to other violations of privacy over the past few months, not that many Facebook accounts seem to have been closed. The latest official figures are showing steady global growth in daily active users, a number that now exceeds 1.5 billion accounts. In North America, Facebook's DAU surged from 185 to 186 million between Q3 and Q4 2018 after a few quarters of stagnation, although a reputable research firm is now contesting that trend.
According to a comprehensive new report compiled by Edison Research, the active US user base of the world's most popular social network may have gone down quite drastically since 2017. The latest third-party estimate suggests Facebook lost a whopping 15 million members stateside these past two years, which represents no less than 6 percent of the total US population ages 12 and older.
Still, Facebook is believed to have retained an impressive 172 million users in the US, representing 61 percent of the nation's 12 year-old+ population. Unsurprisingly, after seemingly deleting Facebook, most people just switched to a different social platform rather than unplugging their lives altogether. And ironically, Facebook's loss meant a win for... Facebook, which also owns Instagram.
39 percent of the US population ages 12 and older was estimated to be using Facebook's 2012-acquired service in 2018, up from 36 and 34 percent in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Instagram also gained a large chunk of users ages 12 - 34, which seems to be the most problematic category for Facebook's main social networking platform nowadays.
In other news, Edison Research found both US smartphone and tablet ownership to be on the rise in 2018. While the percentage of the population using a smartphone grew marginally, tablets somehow had a great year, with an estimated 158 million US residents in possession of one. Both smart speaker awareness and ownership also jumped substantially, while Pandora remains the leader among audio brands, ahead of Spotify and Apple Music... when counting both paying subscribers and free listeners.