Facebook has been facing competition from fast-growing social networks like Snapchat, and this might lower its user engagement growth, according to eMarketer. A new report shows that though half of American users’ social networking time will be spent on Facebook this year, user engagement growth will probably decline.
Slowing user engagement growth
According to eMarketer, U.S. adults will spend 22 minutes on the social media giant in 2016 of the 43 minutes a day they spend on all social media platforms. In 2018, they will spend 3 more minutes a day on social networks but will only give an extra minute of their time to Facebook, the firm projects.
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Time spent on social networking platforms is expected to grow 5.9% between 2013 and 2018, while time spent on Facebook is expected to grow only 5.3%, suggesting that the social networking giant will slightly lag the overall growth rate.
In the report, Monica Peart, an eMarketer forecasting analyst, said, “Facebook has…been facing competition from other fast-growing social networks like Snapchat, and cannibalization from its own property, Instagram. With other social networks investing heavily in making video a core feature of their platforms, their collective time spent will begin to challenge that of Facebook,” Peart said.
Mobile has been the force behind Facebook’s success, and time spent on smaller devices is expected to grow from 2013 to 2018 by 12.9%, whereas engagement on laptop and desktop devices is set to decline 7.5%. Recently, the focus on video content has increased Facebook’s user engagement time. According to the social network’s latest figures from November, daily video views have reached 8 billion.
Should Facebook be worried?
Facebook has no reason to worry considering its latest earnings report. Its advertising revenue hit $5.2 billion, which is a 57% y-o-y increase, and at the end of the first quarter of 2016, there were 1.65 billion monthly active users on the platform.
And let’s not forget WhatsApp and Instagram, which are owned by the social media giant. People around the world spend more than 50 minutes per day on average on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, and this figure does not include WhatsApp, said Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg last week during the earnings call.
However, competition is still tough with Google’s YouTube continuing to be strong and messaging application Snapchat trying to stamp out its authority in the mobile video space. Snapchat gets 10 billion daily video views and is adding new ad products to get brands on board.
On Wednesday, Facebook shares closed up 0.54% at $118.06. Year to date, the stock is up by over 11%, while in the last year, it is up almost 50%.