YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat have emerged as the most popular online hangouts for U.S. teens, surpassing the once-dominant Facebook.
According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that just 51 per cent of Americans from 13 to 17-years-old say they use Facebook, down from 71 per cent in 2015. The study was only conducted among nearly 750 teens in a one month period starting this spring
Now, YouTube is the most popular platform among teens – about 85 per cent say they use it. Not surprisingly, teens are also active on Instagram (72 per cent) and Snapchat (69 per cent). Meanwhile, Twitter followed at 32 per cent, and Tumblr’s popularity (14 per cent) remained the same since the 2015 survey.
“The social media environment among teens is quite different from what it was just three years ago,” said Monica Anderson, lead author of the report. “Back then, teens’ social media use mostly revolved around Facebook. Today, their habits revolve less around a single platform.”
There was a mixed reaction from the teenagers as to whether all that time online is good for them. About 30 per cent of teens said that social media has had a mostly positive impact on people their age while 24 per cent said the effect has been mostly negative. The biggest group — 45 per cent of teens surveyed — said it has had neither a positive nor a negative effect.
The survey also suggested that the lower income teens who do not have access to smartphones or computers gravitate towards Facebook, maybe because of its popularity, whereas those in the higher income group spend their time on Instagram and YouTube.
Another insight from the study that emerged was that girls are more likely to use Snapchat, while boys mostly use YouTube. In fact, 50 per cent of girls are constantly on social media as against boys who are online 39 per cent of the time.
Pew found that changing social media patterns are taking place as digital technology continues to evolve. According to the research, there has been an increase in the number of teens who own a smartphone (95 per cent) as compared to the teen population in 2014-15 which was 73 per cent. This has been cited as the reason for the increased use of social media platforms.
Check out the survey’s results in their entirety here.