Facebook and Instagram have been two of the top social platforms for awhile now. Facebook of course still reigns supreme when it comes to monthly active users at 2.23 billion. However, Instagram isn’t all that far behind at one billion. One interesting fact that’s recently come to light is that the average time spent on Facebook is decreasing, while the average time spent on Instagram is increasing.
Here are the details and what this means for legal marketing moving forward.
Report Shows Time on Facebook is Decreasing
A recent report by eMarketer analyzed the amount of time spent by American users on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat between 2016 and projections for 2021.
Here’s what they found:
Snapchat has basically plateaued, which isn’t of much interest to me here. What I’m interested in is the clear decline in the amount of time people are spending on Facebook and growth in the amount of time people are spending on Instagram.
Facebook will be dropping from 41 minutes per day in 2017 to 37 minutes in 2021 (assuming eMarketer’s projections are accurate). On the other hand, Instagram will be increasing from just 22 minutes in 2016 to 29 minutes in 2021.
What Does This Mean?
It’s pretty obvious. Facebook has officially begun it’s downward decline — something that many social media experts have been predicting for some time. Instagram, however, is poised to move up the social media ladder and should be one of the top networks for several years to come.
At the current rate things are going, it could even overtake Facebook in the average amount of time spent daily in the next five to seven years. This isn’t to say that Facebook is tanking and taking a complete nosedive into oblivion. It just means that it’s best days are arguably behind and interest is gradually diminishing.
“Facebook’s continued loss of younger adult users, along with its focus on downranking clickbait posts and videos in favor of those that create ‘time well spent,’ resulted in less daily time spent on the platform in 2018 than we had previously expected,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said.
That combined with surfacing privacy concerns in 2018 have resulted in many people stepping away from Facebook and shifting their attention to other networks, mainly Instagram.
How Legal Marketers Should Respond
Debra Aho Williamson makes one final point that, “Less time spent on Facebook translates into fewer chances for marketers to reach the network’s users.” It’s really that simple. With people spending less time on Facebook and overall engagement decreasing, this is probably the time to shift away from Facebook and spend more time on Instagram.
I’m certainly not suggesting that you should completely abandon Facebook, but the data shows that we’ve hit the tipping point where Facebook begins its inevitable decline.
Social Media Moving Forward
Not to be overly dramatic, but this recent report could be evidence of a paradigm shifting that’s happening on social media. Time on Facebook is decreasing, while time on Instagram is increasing. As a legal marketer, it’s important to acknowledge this fact and adjust your campaign accordingly.