Teenagers and social media

Facebook loses ground, YouTube leads the way.

The latest Pew Research Center research into the use of social media shows a drastic change in the landscape since the last report was published in 2015. For the purposes of the research ‘teens’ are 13-17-year olds.

Key findings

  • In 2015, 71% of 13-17-year olds said they used Facebook – the figure is now 51%
  • In 2015 about 50% of 13-17-year olds were using Instagram – the figure now is 72%
  • Teen use of Snapchat has grown from 41% to 72%
  • YouTube is the most used social media app (85%) – its use wasn’t measured in 2015
  • 95% of teens own, or have access to, a smartphone
  • 45% of teens describe their internet use as ‘almost constant’
  • 97% of teenage boys play video games

Attitudes to social media

The report shows that teens have mixed views about the impact of social media on their lives.

  • 45% consider social media to be ‘neutral’ – having neither a positive or negative effect on their peers
  • 31% say social media has a positive impact (respondents value social media’s role in helping them connect, communicate, interact and make new friends)
  • 24% consider social media as having a mostly negative impact (respondents mention bullying, social media as a platform for rumours and for providing ‘a fake image of someone’s life’)

The full report, including the underlying data and information on the methodology, is available here.