YouTube is the top social media app with US teens as Facebook's popularity nosedives
TikTok usage grew the most, while more established platforms like Instagram and Snapchat also saw a steady rise
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny
😲 YouTube has been used by 95% of US teenagers
📈 TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform
🕶️ Instagram and Snapchat also remain popular
😭 Facebook has seen a rapid decline in popularity sine 2014-2015
📱 35% of teens say they use at least one type of social media “almost constantly”
👍 But 55% think their social media use is “about right”
A fascinating study into how teens use social media has revealed that YouTube is the king among the 13-17 age group, while Facebook’s popularity is dropping rapidly.
A new Pew Research Center survey of American teenagers revealed that the fastest growing social media site is TikTok, which might come as little surprise. 67% of teens have said they’ve used the video clip app, with 16% of those surveyed saying they use it almost constantly.
Instagram and Snapchat also remain firm favorites with American teens, with 62% and 59%, respectively, saying they’ve used the apps before.
Google’s YouTube has the largest reach, with 95% of teens saying they’ve used the video platform before.
Unfortunately for Facebook, the previous prom queen of social media, has seen a rapid decline in popularity with teens. The app was used by 71% of teenagers in 2014-2015, but only 32% of teenagers used Mark Zuckerberg’s platform in 2022.
Still, that’s better than the potentially Elon Musk-owned Twitter, which fell from 33% to 23%, while Amazon’s live streaming platform Twitch has only been used by 20% of teenagers. WhatsApp garnered 17%, while Reddit and Tumblr (remember that?) were used by 14% and 5%, respectively.
The study from Pew Research Center revealed some notable demographic differences regarding teens’ choice of social media. Teen boys are more likely to use YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit, whereas teen girls are more likely to use TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp are also used by a higher share of Black and Hispanic teens than White teens.
Regarding using social media, 35% of teens say they’re using at least one platform “almost constantly.” TikTok and Snapchat have the highest overall engagement, but YouTube isn’t far behind, with one-in-five teens using Google’s platform regularly.
But do teens in the US believe they spend too much time on social media? Only 36% think they use social media too much, while 55% think their social media use is “about right.” When asked if they could give up social media, 54% of teens said it would be somewhat hard, whereas 46% said it would be somewhat easy. However, a higher percentage of teen girls said they would struggle to give up social media compared to boys (58% vs 49%).
Is Facebook doomed?
Facebook’s decline may seem worrying, but the platform deserves credit for lasting so long despite countless rivals. Not every social media service is as lucky, as we’ve already seen the deaths of MySpace, Vine, Friendster, and Google+ to name but a few.
Facebook’s parent company, Meta, also owns Instagram and WhatsApp and has big plans to establish itself as the leader in the Metaverse. The company recently raised the price of Quest 2 by $100, which isn’t ideal for those wanting to jump into VR but is unlikely to hinder the company’s continued investment in virtual reality.
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