Facebook no longer attracts teenagers

INTERNET usage has increased dramatically over the past two decades and today there are more active users than ever before. Social media websites, in particular, have become extremely popular, with Facebook being the third most visited site in 2021.

Despite the recent rise of Instagram businesses and influencers, Facebook remains the most popular marketing platform — in 2021, 78% of its users said they found new products and services on the platform according to data published by BroadbandSearch.

TikTok, on the other hand, was the most downloaded app last year after its international launch in 2017.

Social media is a huge part of teenage life – new generations are now being born into a digital world where texting and video sharing have largely replaced real-life (or irl, as Gen Z would say) communication. Tracking what interests young people, and especially teenagers, as they access the Internet is a fascinating and useful tool for spotting major trends and even peeking into the future.

In search of answers, the TradingPedia team examines a new report titled “Teenagers, Social Media, and Technology” from the Pew Research Center. It reveals some interesting trends in young people’s preferences, such as the fact that almost all teenagers currently use YouTube, while only 32% say they use Facebook.

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The biggest social media platforms

While Facebook remains the top platform of choice among all age groups in the United States and globally, American teens prefer to spend their time primarily on YouTube. The website which launched in 2005 as a video streaming platform is now the most popular social media site among teens in the United States, with 95% saying they have used it and 19 % admitting that they visit it almost constantly.

Next in popularity is TikTok (and its original Chinese version Douyin) which was released in 2016 but only became available globally in 2018 when it merged with Chinese social media platform Musical. ly. Of those polled by the Pew Research Center, 67% say they have used the app and 16% say they use it almost constantly.

The third most popular social media platform among American teens is the video-sharing service Instagram, owned by Meta Platforms (known until recently as Facebook Inc.). Sixty-two percent of respondents are Instagram users, while 10% open or use it almost constantly.

Photo-sharing app Snapchat follows closely, with 59% of teens using it. Fifteen percent say they are there constantly.

Meanwhile, less than a third (32%) of all teens in the survey visit Facebook, and only 2% are there almost constantly. Note that the researchers did not include Facebook’s Messenger as a separate platform in the survey, so it’s likely that these percentages reflect both Facebook and Messenger usage.

The teens were also surveyed on several other social media platforms and results show that 23% used Twitter, 20% used Twitch, 17% were on WhatsApp, 14% used Reddit and only 5% said they had ever used tumblr.

Change in popularity

Things are changing fast in the world of social media, even more so when it comes to young people and their preferences. Facebook was once the most used social media website by teens in the United States, with 71% in 2014.

Data from a similar Pew Research Center survey shows that from 2014 to 2015, Instagram was the second most popular after Facebook with 52% using it, while Snapchat was used by 41% of respondents.

In 2018, when researchers conducted another survey, there was a significant shift in the social media landscape. Facebook’s popularity plummeted and it had become the fourth most used platform with only 51% of teens using it. YouTube had replaced it – 85% of teens in the US said they had used the website. Another interesting fact is that two platforms from the 2014 to 2015 survey were not present in the 2018 stats – Vine and Google+, which were dropped.

Teens on social media

Since TikTok exploded in popularity in 2018 and 2019, there have been concerns that the app and the short video form of the content could affect users’ attention spans and cause addiction.

However, the findings of the Pew Research Center report show that YouTube is used more frequently than TikTok, at least on the face of it. Almost three quarters or 77% of teens visit YouTube at least once a day, compared to 57% who say they are daily users of TikTok. Daily (or more frequent) use of the platforms drops to 51% for Snapchat, 49% for Instagram and 18% for Facebook.

But when we look at how many are using TikTok and Snapchat, we can see that a larger share of users are logging in daily or more frequently. About 86% of those who use both platforms open them every day. And a quarter of users are almost constantly on the apps.

This brings us to the next question: is it hard for teens to stop using social media? Unsurprisingly, the short answer is “yes”, at least for half of the young people who took part in the survey.

More than a third of teens, or 36%, say they spend too much time on social media, while 55% think they’re just having a good time on these platforms. Another 8% think their time on social media is “too little”.

The researchers also asked them how difficult it would be for them to leave social media and 54% of respondents said it would be difficult – it would be “very difficult” for 18% of teenagers and “quite difficult” for 35% . For 20% of teenagers, this task would be “very easy”, while 26% found it “rather easy”.

Additionally, 78% of teens who say they spend too much time on social media admit that it would be difficult for them to stop, with 29% describing it as “very difficult”.

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