Top tech stats: Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram’s user predictions, rise in online identity fraud and more


This week we bring you the latest Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram user predictions, stats about the rise in online identity fraud and the rise of malware in Mac and Android devices.

Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram predictions

Facebook will continue to see its overall growth slow down in the UK and the US as due to declining use among teens and young adults.

That’s according to a forecast unveiled by eMarketer, which also predicted that Instagram’s and Snapchat’s usage would rise by double digits.

In the US, eMarkteter says Facebook’s community of monthly users will grow 2.4% this year to reach 172.9 million people. But its monthly user base among 12-17 year olds will decline by 3.4% in comparison to 2016 to 14.5 million people.

According to the predictions, monthly Facebook usage among those under 12 and ages 18 to 24 will grow more slowly than previously forecast, too.

“We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate — that is, using visual content. Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged—logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco.

“At the same time, we now have ‘Facebook-nevers’, children aging into the tween demographic who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.”

eMarketer has increased its projections for Snapchat usage this year in line with reported company data. The social network’s US user base is now expected to grow 25.8% to 79.2 million monthly. Growth figures have been adjusted higher for all but the oldest age group, with the biggest upward revision made to the 18-to-24 group. That young adult cohort will see usage escalate 19.2% this year.

Similarly to the US, more than a quarter of the UK’s population will log on to Instagram at least monthly in 2017, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast of the country’s social network users. In total, 16.7 million people in the UK will use the platform each month this year, representing an increase of 34.8% over 2016.

Snapchat won’t be far behind, with 21.1% of the population—or 14 million people—logging on at least once per month in 2017. As with Instagram, Snapchat has enjoyed strong growth—it almost doubled its user base between 2015 and 2016, and is expected to see a further increase of 20.2% this year.

“Facebook is still the big winner in social media,” said Bill Fisher, eMarketer’s UK senior analyst. “But it will be slightly concerned that younger people in the UK are having their heads turned by Snapchat. Of course, Facebook’s ownership of Instagram is softening the blow, and it will be further enthused to see Instagram’s longer-term prospects looking even better than Snapchat’s.”

Rise in identity fraud

Some 83% of identity fraud cases were perpetrated online last year.

According to Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, new figures show that identity fraud has continued to rise to record levels in the first six months of 2017.

The latest research highlights how there has been a sharp rise in identity fraudsters applying for loans, online retail, telecoms and insurance products.

Despite the fact that identity fraud attempts against bank accounts and plastic cards have declined, these still account for more than half of all cases.

Simon Dukes, chief executive, Cifas said:  “We have seen identity fraud attempts increase year on year, now reaching epidemic levels, with identities being stolen at a rate of almost 500 a day.

“These frauds are taking place almost exclusively online. The vast amounts of personal data that is available either online or through data breaches is only making it easier for the fraudster.

“Criminals are relentlessly targeting consumers and businesses and we must all be alert to the threat and do more to protect personal information.

“For smaller and medium-sized businesses in particular, they must focus on educating staff on good cyber security behaviours and raise awareness of the social engineering techniques employed by fraudsters. Relying solely on new fraud prevention technology is not enough.”

Mac and Android devices experiencing a rise in malware

According to research by Malwarebytes, strategic attacks on both Mac and Android devices are on the rise.

Detections of Android ransomware, the research shows, increased by more than 100% in Q2 of this year.

In fact, data collected from installs of Malwarebytes on Android devices, shows that detections of Android malware rose by 5.5% from Q1 to Q2 2017 alone.The top 3 Android ransomware families detected in this time period were Jisut,

The three most common Android ransomware families detected during this time period were Jisut, SLocker and Koler, collectively accounting for nearly 95% of Android ransomware detections in the first half of 2017.

This overall increase in Android malware is primarily due to a rise in detections of Android Trojans, which increased 10.3% from Q1 to Q2 2017.

Additionally, the data suggests Mac malware this year is already at the highest it has ever been.