In the United States, 95 percent of teens own a smartphone or have access to one. These mobile connections lead the teens to more persistent online activities, with about 45 percent online on a near-constant basis. They are also active on social networking sites. A 2015 survey of the Pew Research Center found that Facebook was the most popular social media platform with American teens, favored by 71 percent.
But within the past three years, the situation has changed. Monica Anderson and Jingjing Jiang of Pew Research Center conducted a survey in April 2018 with American teens between 13 and 17.
Facebook is no longer the most popular platform with the teens. Now they use three online platforms other than Facebook – YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Meanwhile, 51 percent of teens now say they use Facebook.
The authors also found that lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households. Seven in 10 teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36 percent whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.
Of the three, roughly one-third say they visit Snapchat (35 percent) or YouTube (32 percent) most often, while 15 percent say the same of Instagram. By comparison, 10 percent of teens say Facebook is their most-used online platform, and even fewer cite Twitter, Reddit or Tumblr as the site they visit most often.
There are also some differences related to gender and to race and ethnicity when it comes to teens’ most-used sites. Girls are more likely than boys to say Snapchat is the site they use most often (42 percent vs. 29 percent), while boys are more inclined than girls to identify YouTube as their go-to platform (39 percent vs. 25 percent).
Additionally, white teens (41 percent) are more likely than Hispanic (29 percent) or black (23 percent) teens to say Snapchat is the online platform they use most often, while black teens are more likely than whites to identify Facebook as their most used site (26 percent vs. 7 percent).
To read the full text of the study: https://pewrsr.ch/2yBaInP
Anderson, M., & Jiang, J. (2018). Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018. Pew Research Center.