Both YouTube and Snapchat have dealt with significant crises over the past year. The former has sparred with its creators over demonetized videos, while the latter has struggled under the weight of its flagging stock price.
But for US teens, it would seem, those social media platforms are still more popular than any others. A survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that YouTube is the social platform used by the highest percentage of teens, while Snapchat is platform teens most commonly referred to as their “favorite.”
According to the survey, 85% of the 743 Pew respondents (all of whom were between the ages of 13 and 17) use YouTube, while 72% use Instagram, 69% use Snapchat, and just 51% use Facebook. When Pew ran a similar survey in 2015, 71% of surveyed teens self-reported at Facebook users. “The social media environment among teens is quite different from what it was just three years ago,” said Pew research associate Monica Anderson. “Back then, teens’ social media use mostly revolved around Facebook. Today, their habits revolve less around a single platform.”
When they are asked to choose just one platform, however, many teens still like Snapchat. 35% of respondents selected the ephemeral messaging app was selected as their favorite, while 32% chose YouTube, 15% opted for Instagram, and 10% stuck with Facebook. As was the case with the 2015 Pew survey, these preferences were split along class lines, with a higher percentage of lower-income teens preferring Facebook to other platforms.
While teens may not agree on which social sites to visit, almost all of them can claim access to a connected mobile device. Three years ago, 73% of Pew respondents said they have access to a smartphone. Now, that figure is up to 95%.