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Facebook losing out to YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat among US teens

Friday - 01/06/2018 10:44
US teenagers are ditching Facebook in favour of platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, a study says.
GETTY IMAGES / Some 95% of US teens own or have access to a smartphone, according to the survey
GETTY IMAGES / Some 95% of US teens own or have access to a smartphone, according to the survey

Only 51% use Facebook, which is a 20 percentage point drop since 2015, when the US-based Pew Research Center last surveyed teens' social media habits.

Most of those aged 13 to 17 own or have access to a smartphone, with 45% online on a near-constant basis.

YouTube has stolen Facebook's former dominance over teens, with 85% of them preferring the video-sharing platform.

Second and third top social media services among teens are now Instagram at 72% and Snapchat at 69%.

The numbers of teens who use Twitter (32%) and Tumblr (14%) are largely unchanged compared to the results found in 2015.

While Facebook may have lost its reign among the teenage demographic to Google-owned YouTube, it has owned the rising favourite Instagram, a photo and video-sharing networking service, since 2012.

Graph showing which social media platforms have the largest share of US teens

The Pew study, which surveyed nearly 750 teens in one month earlier this year, found that the increase in smartphone ownership played a huge part in teen life. Today's 95% is a 22-point increase from the 73% of teens three years ago.

It also found, consistent with previous studies, that while most teens used the same social media platforms as their peers, low-income teens were more likely to prefer Facebook than teens from a higher-income household.

The Pew survey could not find clear consensus among teens about the effects of social media on their lives.

Almost a third described the effect as mostly positive, and a quarter saying mostly negative. The largest bloc, 45%, said that the effect was neither positive nor negative.

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