There was a time when Facebook was the cool app that every teenager wanted to be. In fact, a survey conducted in 2015 found that 71% of teenagers used Facebook at the time.
But the app has been losing a huge chunk of this demographic to the likes of TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram every year. Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for the platform to lay more efforts towards serving the younger users, with more teens abandoning the platform.
In a survey conducted between April and May this year, YouTube was singled out as the most popular platform among participants, with 95% of teens aged between 13 to 17 years saying they use it. Out of this, 19% said they are almost on the platform constantly, the survey said.
The survey cited Chinese short video sharing app TikTok as the second most popular app among teenagers, with 67% saying they use it and 16% admitting they’re on the app almost constantly. Instagram, owned by Facebook’s parent company Meta, came in third with 62% of teens acknowledging using it, while 10% said they’re scrolling through pictures and videos almost all the time. Only 32% of surveyed teens said they use Facebook.
Snapchat has also recorded a sharp increase in teenage users since 2015, recording between 41% to 59% of this demographic through the years. Twitter and Tumblr recorded a 10% and 9% decline in the number of teenagers onboarded.
The survey also sought to find out what devices teenagers owned or had access to and found that smartphones had a higher penetration at 95%, up from 73% recorded in 2015.
The study further said that (54%) of teens would find it hard to give up social media, while 36% said they spent too much time on the platform. The number of those who use the internet daily rose from 92% in 2015 to 97%.
There have been calls by regulators to increase awareness of the negative effects of social media on teen users. Social media companies have been asked to tighten their guidelines to avoid signing underage users on their platforms.