Snapchat is to overtake Facebook as the most popular social media platform for 18-24-year-olds in the UK by the end of the year.

Snapchat is expected to grow the number of users in this category by more than 350,000 in 2018, which will mean it has almost five million users.

A report by eMarketer says Facebook is expected to lose users in the age group for the second consecutive year, leaving it with 4.5m users.

“These so-called Facebook-nevers are eating into Facebook’s user growth significantly,” said Bill Fisher, senior analyst at eMarketer.

“Many younger social network users are forgoing Facebook altogether in favour of more appealing mobile-first alternatives, such as Snapchat.”

Last year Snapchat overtook Facebook among 12-to-17-year-olds and there is concern at the latter Silicon Valley giant that younger age groups don’t want to share social media platforms with their parents or other older family members.

“Facebook is still adding monthly users overall, but older age groups are mainly responsible for this,” Fisher added.

However eMarketer expects Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, to grow its base of 18-24-year-old users to 4.2m, a rise of 270,000 in 2018.

“Facebook’s Instagram purchase looks to have been a shrewd move in as much that it’s picking up some of that younger user base it is losing,” Fisher added.

“But it’s still struggling to hold on to the coattails of Snapchat among these cohorts.”