Study: Teens, college students favor Snapchat while Gen Z spends up to 11 hours per day on social

Teens, college students favor Snapchat

It may come as no surprise that Snapchat and Instagram have a solid lead over Facebook when it comes to the frequency that high school and college students use the social media channels, with young Snapchat users checking in at a rate of up to six times per day or more.

An online study of college and high school students found that 88% use Instagram and Snapchat compared to 81% for Facebook. Twitter appears to trail on all fronts, with only 66% reporting use and fewer than 50% using it often. Further, students report lower usage of Tumblr, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Snapchat is most valued for keeping in touch with friends (89%), sharing and creating videos, images and stories (56.8%). Further, 78% of students surveyed said they use Snapchat daily, compared to 76% for Instagram, and 66% for Facebook. 71% percent say they use Snapchat more than six times per day, and 51% note that they are on Snapchat more than 11 times per day. Students also report that they use up to five different social channels per day.

“With students – mostly GenZ – using up to five different screens over the course of the day and evening, it should be of no surprise that they are not married to just one platform," said Michael Cherenson, SCG's executive vice president for public relations. "Marketers and brands must be agnostic when it comes to platform. This means being open to use of several social media networks, often in unique ways."

Almost 90% of Snapchat users say they enjoy the GeoFilters, while 85% say they like Snapchat Lenses.

Students report little to no interest in ads that appear in stories.

"More than half of Snapchat users say they would feel disconnected from friends if not for Snapchat, which speaks volumes about the relationship students have with the platform and their peer networks," Cherenson said. "Almost 25 percent indicated Snapchat is essential to their relationships."

There also is a high degree of interest in content, particularly the types of "real stories or day-in-the-life," videos, "Behind-the-scenes videos," followed by 'How-To videos.' Further, when asked about what brands or companies have shown a mastery of Snapchat, Cosmo, Buzzfeed and the Kardashians were cited most frequently.

"Brands would be wise to use the platform for storytelling, providing new and interesting perspectives, and for engaging in a thoughtful, interesting and meaningful way with students," said Cherenson.

This webinar will be a major first step towards making brands more relevant to Gen Z. To register for it, click here

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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