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A new study by the research firm eMarketer found that in 2017 alone, Facebook lost 1.4 million users between the ages of 12 to 17 - a roughly 10 percent drop for that demographic, Recode notes.

EMarketer had in 2017 predicted that Facebook would experience a 3.4 percent decline in 12 to 17-year-old users in the United States last year. In 2018, less than half of Americans aged between 12 and 17 will use Facebook at least once a month, says eMarketer. Along with the reduced time, Facebook also - for the first time - witnessed a drop in the daily users in the USA and Canada. Facebook has been struggling with attracting younger users for several years, but its efforts don't appear to be making much of an impact as these consumers continue to seek out what's new and innovative in mobile.

Instagram will add 1.6 million users in that age group while Snapchat will add 1.9 million users, according to eMarketer. Of the 2 million US users under 25 that eMarketer estimates Facebook will drop this year, it sees Instagram catching only 1.6 million, while Snapchat is likely to scoop up 1.9 million.

Snap's shares soared 30% last week after it revealed better-than-expected financial results and continued steady growth in its global user base, up from 178 million in the third quarter to 187 million in Q4. EMarketer estimates that Instagram will add 1.6 million US users to Snapchat's 1.9 million users in 2018. User information was retained in the wider group as those who didn't sign up, or left Facebook, would usually end up on Instagram.

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Facebook has tried to stem an exodus to Snapchat with measures such as a new version of its Messenger app for children. After the former rejected Facebook's $3 billion buyout offer in 2013, Facebook made concerted attempts to clone Snapchat features, first on Instagram, then on its native platform, and even on WhatsApp.

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. But for years now, the social network's growth in the US has been driven by older users. It's a worrying development for the social media giant.

Of course, "that's the predicament Facebook is in", Williamson notes. It is expected to hit 169.5 million users in the US this year, up less than 1 percent from 2017, according to the eMarketer forecast. The research firm believes Instagram's USA user base will grow by 13 percent this year, to nearly 105 million people.