It looks like Facebook’s U.S. user growth has officially peaked.
It’s starting to feel official: Facebook’s U.S. audience is as big as it’s going to get.
Facebook is massive in this country. More than two-thirds of Americans, specifically 68 percent, use the service, according to new research from Pew Research Center.
The troubling news: If you’re a Facebook investor, that number hasn’t increased over the past two years. Roughly 68 percent of U.S. adults used Facebook in 2016, too.
This shouldn’t come as a total shock. Facebook reported its first quarter-over-quarter decline in daily users in the U.S. and Canada at the end of 2017. And while the decline was small, just 700,000 users, it served as a red flag that the company may finally be tapped out in its most valuable market.
Facebook CFO Dave Wehner may disagree. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on Wednesday he addressed the decline in North American users as, “a trend that we don’t see continuing on an ongoing basis.”
But the Pew data tells another story — that Facebook growth in the U.S. has officially stalled.
The good news for Facebook: Instagram is picking up some of the slack. Roughly 35 percent of U.S. adults now use Instagram, up from 28 percent in 2016.
Also from the report was confirmation (again) that Snapchat is still a major threat to Facebook’s dominance among young people. Facebook technically has a larger number of of 18- to 24-year-old users in the U.S. than Snapchat. But Facebook has 80 percent of that cohort using its service, and Snapchat has 78 percent. So it’s getting close.
YouTube, which isn’t always categorized as social media, was the biggest service on Pew’s list — 73 percent of all U.S. adults use YouTube, including 94 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds.
The Pew report is based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 3-10, 2018, among a national sample of 2,002 adults in the U.S.