Dont miss our awards deadlines
Agencies for Growth Festival Banner

Facebook swiftly loses dominance as teens flock to other social media apps

It appears as though Facebook’s heyday is officially over: only 51% of teenagers ages 13-17 in the US still use the social platform, down from 71% just three years ago.

According to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are now the top three platforms among teens, with Facebook coming in fourth. A whopping 85% of teenagers report using YouTube, while 72% use Facebook-owned Instagram and 69% go on Snapchat. Only 32% of teenagers said they use Twitter, while less than 10% visit Reddit or Tumblr.

The survey does not take into account other popular apps like, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Like - all of which have millions of downloads on Android - which could also explain Facebook’s swift decline.

While Facebook used to be the dominant social player among this cohort, only 10% of teens now call Facebook their most-used online platform. Roughly one-third say they visit Snapchat or YouTube most often, while 15% say the same of Instagram.

When Pew conducted this survey in 2014-2015, only 52% of teens reported using Instagram, while less than half said they use Snapchat. YouTube was not an option in the 2014-2015 survey. The organization’s 2018 survey illustrates Facebook’s struggle to find relevance with Gen Z.

According to the survey, lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households, a trend that Pew says is consistent with previous surveys. Seven out of ten teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared to 36% whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.

In addition to social media usage and habits, the survey also found that smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of life for teenagers in the US: 95% of teens now report they either have a smartphone or have access to one, up from nearly 75% three years ago. Additionally, 45% said they are online on a near-constant basis.

The survey featured responses from 1,058 parents who have a teen ages 13 to 17, as well as interviews with 743 teens. Interviews were conducted online and by phone earlier this year.

By continuing to use The Drum, I accept the use of cookies as per The Drum's privacy policy