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A Facebook engineer writing computer code.

Looking at all age groups, Facebook is still growing in the US.

For the first time, less than half of U.S. internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year via any device at least once per month, according to the research firm eMarketer.

Facebook's struggle to retain young users is more severe than ever before. According to the report, Facebook will lose 2 million users under 25 age this year and less than half of the users of US under 12 to 17 age will lose complete interest in Facebook. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will add an estimated 1.6 million users of the same age group this year-which would still make it the largest social media platform besides Facebook. This latest forecast indicates that it is more than just a theory. What's more: There are now "Facebook nevers", children becoming tweens who are skipping Facebook altogether. In 2018, close to 43% of United Kingdom social network users will log onto Snapchat-more than double its penetration rate from three years ago. Similar to Facebook's attempt to draw Snapchat's younger demographic to its apps, Snapchat has also been targeting older users through more user-friendly redesigns.

If photos are the hottest thing in social right now, Facebook can console itself with its brilliant acquisition move of yesteryear.

While the number of teen users dropped considerably between 2015 and 2016, 13.57% more seniors (65+) joined the platform, from 13.3 million in 2015 to 15.1 in 2015. That's for the US Social Network Users chart, but it goes for all of their reports, too.

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Facebook can take some solace in its overall user base: Its U.S. users will total 169.5 million in 2018, according to eMarketer, while Snapchat's will reach 86.5 million.

A new forecast from research firm eMarketer released February 12 now shows how much that failure may come back to bite Facebook in the long run.

Teens are leaving Facebook in droves, but why is this happening?

A social scientist, Julie Smith from Denver said in a statement that, "Teens want that instant gratification". Snapchat, and its parent company Snap, has continued to innovate and release unique new features, though they're not all as loved as the app's core messaging functionality. "Their minds move quickly", Smith says.

Commentators have speculated that the popularity among older people is because it allows them to keep up with the social lives of their kids and grandchildren.

Instagram is set to remain the more widely used service, but the report suggests Facebook has some work to do with younger users. Facebook, in comparison, looks dated and meant for nostalgia and record-keeping only.