According to a recent report from US-based research organisation Pew Research Center, an increasing number of US teenagers are abandoning social media site Facebook in favour of rival sites and platforms.
The survey asked participants – US teens aged between 13 and 17 – which social sites they use and only 51% gave Facebook as an answer. This ranked the site, which is the world’s largest social media platform, as the fourth most used site. The top three platforms in the survey were YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.
Google-owned video platform YouTube came out on top of the rankings in this study, with 85% of teens stating that this was a platform they used. Facebook-owned photo sharing tool Instagram was not far behind in second place, with 72% of US youngsters saying that they were registered to the platform. Third place belonged to Snapchat, with 69% of American teens using this service.
Pew Research Center conducted a similar study back in 2015 and this showed that Facebook was the preferred social site for the same age category at the time, with 71% of teens stating that this was their preferred site. This 20% drop in teenage users highlights the decline of Facebook among younger users.
The top 7 social sites were completed by Twitter in fifth place with 32%, Tumblr in sixth with 14% and Reddit with under 10%. These statistics do not differ greatly to those posted as part of the 2015 study.
The study was based on the answers of 750 teens, with data being collected over a one-month period earlier in 2018. Another prominent statistic to come out of the study was the increase in smartphone ownership among this age group. In the 2018 study, around 95% of participants stated that they owned a smartphone. This is a 22% increase compared to the statistics of 2015, where smartphone ownership stood at 73%.
Furthermore, 45% of those surveyed declared that they were online on an almost constant basis, which is perhaps surprisingly low considering the consensus is that younger people are glued to their smartphones and are constantly checking their messages and scrolling through their news feeds.
Also as part of the study, Pew tried to gauge whether those in this age category found that social media usage had a positive or negative effect on their lives. However, the results of this part of the study were inconclusive as nearly half of those surveyed, 45%, stated that social media neither had a positive nor negative effect on their lives. Close to a third stated that it had a positive effect on their lives, with around a quarter indicating that it had a negative effect.