Over 17 Million Younger Facebook Users Have Quit Amid Privacy Scandals

More than 17 million young Americans have abandoned Facebook over the last two years after a series of data privacy scandals damaged public trust in the social media platform. According to the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America conducted by Edison Research, Facebook users between 12-34 years-old are now flocking to Facebook sister site Instagram, reports the Daily Mail

The report found that in 2017, 67 per cent of the total US population over the age of 12 used Facebook.

This has dropped to 62 per cent and 61 per cent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.  

These average figures equate to approximately 172 million current users, according to Edison Research. 

However, a breakdown of those ditching the beleaguered site found the drop off has been much larger in youngsters.  -Daily Mail

Older people over the age of 55, meanwhile, increased their Facebook usage - marginally offsetting the drop in younger users for a net loss of 15 million users over the last two years.

Still, despite the dropoff - Facebook remains the top social media platform for young users - with 29% saying it is the site they use most often. That said, the graphic below reveals a significant reduction in market share since 2015, when 58% of young users primarily used Facebook

According to the report, approximately 223 million people over the age of 12 use social media

Last week Facebook announced in a lengthy blog post that the company plans to bring end-to-end encryption to their Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms in an effort to boost the company's reputation for poor user data security. 

Zuckerberg also said he's working to ensure your online activity won't come back to haunt you later in life. 

Ultimately, the CEO says the firm is striving to make interactions across Facebook 'a fundamentally more private experience.'  

'I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won't stick around forever,' Zuckerberg wrote in the March 6 post. 

'This is the future I hope we will help bring about.' -Daily Mail

1,500 users over the age of 12 participated in the survey via telephone.