How popular are YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and other social media apps among American teens today?


A Pew Research study that examines the social media habits of teenagers in the United States found that YouTube is the top social media used by teenagers. A total of 95% of teens aged 13-17 said they use the video streaming platform.

Next to YouTube is TikTok at 67%. Of that number, 16% of teens said they were on the app “almost constantly”, according to Engadget.

The third most popular social media site among teens is Instagram, at 62%. According to Engadget, a tenth of teens said they were there almost all the time, even though the app sometimes reminded them to take a break, according to the Washington Post.

(Photo: LIONEL BONAVENTURE / Getty Images)

Social media platforms that have risen in ranking

Over the past few years, Snapchat has become very popular among teens as it grew by 59% in the latest survey compared to 41% in the previous survey.

Seven years ago, Facebook was the top social media app used by teens, at 71%. However, the app falls below the ranking as it dropped to 32%.

Teen Twitter usage fell from 33% to 23%, while Tumblr usage also fell from 14% to 5%.

During the 2014-15 season, Pew did not ask questions on Twitch, WhatsApp or Reddit. But in the recent survey, it was discovered that a fifth of teenagers use Twitch. A total of 17% use WhatsApp, while 14% of teenagers are on Reddit.

The 2014-2015 survey showed that 33% of teens used Google+ and a quarter used Vine. In the recent poll, Pew did not include Discord or social gaming spaces such as Fortnite in the survey.

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Teens talked about their social media consumption

A total of 1,316 teens between the ages of 13 and 17 were surveyed by Pew in April and May. The poll also revealed that boys were more likely to use YouTube, Twitch and Reddit. In contrast, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat were girls’ favorite apps.

Another interesting finding is that there are “more black and Hispanic teens who have used TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp than white teens,” according to Engadget.

More than half or 54% of teens surveyed said they would find it hard to give up social media. On the other hand, 36% admitted to having a tendency to spend too much time on the platforms.

Around 55% of teens said their level of use of social media apps was about “about right”. Of all teens surveyed, 97% said they used the internet every day, and 46% said they were online almost all the time.

Pew research also found that 95% of teens have access to a smartphone. This is an increase from 73% in 2014-2015.

Additionally, 90% of teens can access a desktop or laptop computer, up from 87% in the previous survey. On the other hand, the percentage of teenagers with access to a game console decreased slightly, from 81% to 80%.

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