Facebook Is Losing Teens to YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat

Date: 2018-06-04 - Categories: Internet

Facebook is losing U.S. teenagers to services like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.

That’s according to a new survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center that was based on interviews with 743 teens and 1,058 parents with children ages 13 to 17.

The survey found that 85% of U.S. teenagers say they use YouTube, which makes the Google-owned (GOOG, +1.82%) video-streaming service the most popular platform for youths. Instagram is the second most popular service with 72% of teens using the photo-sharing service followed by Snapchat (SNAP, +5.50%), which has 69%.

Facebook (FB, -0.44%) came in fourth place with 51% of the surveyed teens saying they use the social networking service. In 2015, when Pew Research last conducted its survey of teenagers’ app habits, Facebook was the leading online platform with 71% of teens saying they use the social networking service.

It should be noted that Pew Research did not include YouTube in the 2015 survey, so it’s difficult to determine if more teens are using the video-streaming service over the past few years.

Additionally, while teens seem to be shifting their attention from Facebook to competing apps, the social networking giant also owns Instagram, which it bought in 2012 for $1 billion. Instagram was the second most popular online service for teens in 2015, the older Pew Research survey showed.

The new Pew Research survey also highlights the increasing use of smartphones by teenagers. About 95% of teens “have or have access to a smartphone” compared to 73% from just a few years ago.

“Smartphone ownership is nearly universal among teens of different genders, races and ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds,” the report said.

The 2018 Pew Research survey also breaks down teenage app usage by gender, with Snapchat commanding 42% of teenage girls’ attention compared to 29% of teenage boys. Boys seem to be gravitating to YouTube, with the video service capturing 39% of teenage boys’ usage versus 25% of teenage girls.

As for whether teenagers are as worried as their parents about the impact of social media on their lives, young adults appear to be generally indifferent with 42% saying social media is “neither positive nor negative,” 31% saying the technology is “mostly positive,” and 24% saying it’s “mostly negative.”

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The survey also contains a handful of colorful quotes from some of the surveyed children, including one 14-year-old girl who had this to say about how social media services allow people to obtain more information than they ever had in the past.

“My mom had to get a ride to the library to get what I have in my hand all the time,” the teenager said. “She reminds me of that a lot.”