Facebook has been losing US users over the last two years as they flock to rival services such as YouTube, according to new research.
The market leading social network has seen a decrease of 3.8 billion visits over the last two years, according to a study by a market research firm SimilarWeb.
The firm analysed web traffic from the top five US websites – Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, and Amazon.
The data indicated that Facebook’s monthly page visits have fallen from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion in the last two years.
While its mobile numbers have increased dramatically over the last 24 months, the report found this increase was not enough to cancel out the overall fall in viewers.
SimilarWeb found that, by contrast, YouTube is picking up younger viewers who don’t want Facebook.
Dr Stephen Kraus, chief of insights for the firm, commented: “For several years, the top five largest sites in the United States have remained stable. Now we are on the edge of a paradigm shift. Our projections show that soon YouTube’s traffic will pull ahead of Facebook to become number two, and Amazon’s traffic will soon pull ahead of Yahoo to become number four. If current trends continue, both flips will likely occur in the next two to three months.”
The reason for the advancement of YouTube is that younger web surfers prefer the video site to Facebook – which turned 14 years old this year.
However, Facebook’s other major social networks WhatsApp and are continuing to grow. It also has its own messenger app which counts users separately from traffic to the main page.
Instagram’s Android users now average 56 minutes a day on the app, up from 27 minutes a year ago.