Instagram leapfrogs Snapchat in teen popularity stakes

Instagram has surpassed arch-rival Snapchat among teen social media users for the first time, according to a new survey by Piper Jaffray.

The investment bank’s number crunchers found that 85% of teens log into Instagram at least once per month, slightly ahead of Snapchat which trailed on 84%, fueling a concurrent rise in the Facebook-owned image sharing platform's appeal to marketers.

This accolade is a bittersweet success for Facebook however as the parent social platform continues to see its teen engagement figures nosedive, falling to a mere 28% share of 15 year-olds using the service this autumn – a 40% collapse in just two years.

Key to this success are figures showing that 70% of teens prefer to be contacted about new products via Instagram, although Snapchat nudged into second place for preferred brand engagement ahead of email. In a note the analysts observed: “Instagram continues to show dominance in selling, as teens overwhelmingly prefer brands contact them on Instagram vs other channels.”

Instagram’s rise masks the continued dominance of Amazon which remains teens’ favourite website by some margin, with 47% naming the global retail giant their preferred shopping portal.

Elsewhere Netflix was named number one in streaming with teens spending 38% of their day logged into the service, significantly ahead of YouTube where the equivalent figure stood at 33%.

The survey was compiled from the responses of 8,600 US teenagers, confirming the dominance of the Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter triumvirate.