As Global Facebook Users Decline, Iowa Follows Suit

Are Facebook Users Declining in 2022?

Yes, Facebook users have declined for the first time in the platform's history. According to Meta’s quarterly earnings report, Facebook lost about a half a million global daily users in the fourth quarter of 2021. In comparison to their 1.93 billion users, this number may seem like a drop in an ocean, but this metric represents a historic low point for the company.

As we see a declining trend in global Facebook usage, our digital experts referred to our Social Media Study to see if Iowa is following suit.

Iowa’s Attitude Towards Facebook

Here at Blue Compass, we regularly perform market research and recently studied the social media habits of Iowans ages 18-44.

One of our most interesting discoveries was the changing attitude towards Facebook. In years past, our market research has continually shown one clear point: Iowans love Facebook. Traditionally, all age groups we have surveyed, even younger Iowans (ages 18-24), have listed Facebook as their most-used social media platform.

Image with quote about the decline in Facebook usage in Iowa.

Our latest survey shows Facebook’s long reign as Iowans’ favorite social media platform is finally starting to shift. About two years ago, 82 percent of Iowans used Facebook. Today, this has decreased to 74 percent. That’s a significant eight percent difference.

Facebook still maintains its stronghold among Gen X and Millennials. However, among Gen Z, the younger generation, we see Facebook use decline significantly. Approximately 21 percent fewer Gen Zer’s use Facebook compared to the overall sample.

To be clear: Facebook is still the number one social platform in Iowa, but that trend is slowly shifting.

Instagram, by contrast, is a very different story. Two years ago, only 44 percent of Iowans used Instagram. Today, that’s increased to 70 percent. That’s a huge increase.

Quote about Iowan's increased usage of Instagram.

Three Main Reasons Iowans Are Leaving Facebook

We have confirmed Iowans are leaving Facebook, but why? Our digital experts explain three reasons why we are seeing this decline.

The amount of alternative platforms has skyrocketed.

Remember when the main social media options were Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+? Today, there are many other choices. We have already mentioned the rise of Instagram, but we are also seeing growth in platforms like TikTok, Telegram, Gab, Gettr, Rumble, Nextdoor, and others. There are simply so many options now that it’s only natural to see some of Facebook’s audience explore other options.

Facebook is considered a platform for older people.

In the world of social platforms, Facebook is ancient. As the social giant has aged, so have its users. Thus, many younger people think of Facebook as a platform for their parents or grandparents. It’s not as hip and cool as it used to be.

Facebook has gotten more restrictive.

Facebook used to be a place to simply share content and connect with others. In the last few years, however, it’s become more selective about what content and people it allows on its platform. Some people have moved away from Facebook in favor of other platforms with less censorship.

Facebook has been formulating different strategies, including a focus on short-form video, to attract and maintain younger users to the platform. Again, the platform still remains at the top of most popular social media platforms, however, apps like TikTok are keeping the company on their toes.

Ask Our Experts About the Iowa Social Media Survey

At Blue Compass, we are data-driven marketers who offer our clients guidance based on analytics and strategic market research. We performed this research so we could use the results to develop better digital strategies for our clients.

If you would like help getting more out of your social media marketing or digital marketing efforts, don’t hesitate to reach out to Blue Compass.

Drew Harden
Drew Harden

CEO and Co-Founder of Blue Compass, Drew Harden has grown and guided the company from a two-person startup in 2007 to one of the Midwest's leading digital marketing companies today. He's a published author, has been cited by PR News and USA Today, and has led web projects that have been honored by organizations like Adobe and American Design Awards.