It’s been years since Facebook last topped the teen social media charts, yet somehow the platform is still losing ground with young people. The social media site is now used by less than a third of U.S. teenagers, according to new survey data from the Pew Research Center, released Wednesday. That’s down from 71% of teens in 2014-2015 and 51% in 2018.
However, across age groups, the apparent big tech winner is YouTube. The video site emerged victorious among all ten of the platforms included in the most recent teen survey, and 95% of U.S. youth reported that they use YouTube (up from 85% in 2018). It was the top used platform among adults in 2021 too.
When it comes to more traditionally “social media”-specific sites and apps, the new report further confirmed that TikTok has quickly become the reining teen-champ. 67% of polled teenagers reported using the platform, and 16% say they’re on TikTok “almost constantly.” Instagram and Snapchat followed close behind, with 62% and 59% percent of teens responding that they use those platforms respectively.
Those Insta and Snap percentages are up from the 2014-2015 survey (51% and 41% respectively), but notably down compared with the 2018 data. Four years ago, Pew reported that 72% of polled teenagers said they use Instagram and 69% say they use Snapchat. One big caveat: in the most recent Pew study, the Research Center noted that the 2018 survey methods differed and that “direct comparisons cannot be made across the two surveys due to differences in the ways the surveys were conducted.”Regardless, relatively few teenagers seem to be on the other online platforms included in the Pew research: Twitter (23%), Twitch (20%), WhatsApp (17%), Reddit (14%), and Tumblr (just 5%). And teen usage numbers were down across all those platforms between 2022 and 2014-2015. Fun fact: Pew noted that “two of the platforms the Center tracked in the earlier [2014-2015] survey – Vine and Google+ – no longer exist.”