Teenagers are turning away from traditional social media sites, while Instagram, Tumblr and mobile messaging services saw a boost.
The GlobalWebIndex survey discovered that Shapchat was the service which saw the biggest increase, with a 60 per cent increase in users between Q3 and Q4 2013.
Jason Mander, head of trends at GlobalWebIndex, suggested that privacy was one reason for the move: "We've seen a move away from people sharing everything with everyone, like Facebook, to wanting a more personal, private form of communication.
"Today's teens are digital natives, they've been using multiple screens to access the internet from very early ages, and unlike many people in their twenties and thirties, they are very aware of how visible they are online."
Facebook was a nine per cent drop, while Twitter fell three per cent, and teenagers active on YouTube fell seven per cent.
Based on interviews with 170,000 users in 32 counties, Mander summarised: "If we look at usage of apps over the last six months, it's very clear that the biggest growers are things like Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik Messenger.
"There seems to be a shift from what we would call classic social networking behaviours to more instant communication in the form of messaging apps."