Facebook still first choice for US teens, with a quarter online ‘almost constantly’

9 Apr 2015

New research from the Pew Institute shows that US teens are heavily immersed in the online world, with Facebook leading the way.

Mark Zuckerberg’s social-networking site is used by 71pc of teens (aged 13-17), with Instagram (52pc), Snapchat (41pc), Twitter (33pc) , Google+ (33), Vine (24pc) and Tumblr (14pc) trailing in its wake.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of teens are not restricted to just one social media site, but for those who do rely on just one site, Facebook, again, dominates.

The level of Facebook users has actually fallen, down from Pew’s 77pc finding a few years back, although the disparity may be explained by the new method the researchers used to gather information.

All change

Previously conducted over the phone, this report was administered online, which may affect the findings somewhat, although nobody truly knows by how much.

“Accordingly, we will not compare specific percentages from previous research with results from the current survey,” reads the report. “But we believe that the broad contours and patterns evident in this web-based survey are comparable to those seen in previous telephone surveys.”

Facebook is also the social media site that is used most often by the teens surveyed, well ahead of both Instagram and Snapchat combined.

An interesting element of the report looks at the socio-economic differences among teen users, with those of middle and upper income levels more likely to choose Instagram or Snapchat than those from families with an income of less than US$50,000.

“Twitter shows a similar pattern by income, with the wealthiest teens using Twitter more than their least well-to-do peers.”

Another finding is that a typical teen sends and receives 30 texts a day, with a growing number utilising smartphone apps that mirror text services.

Finally, it seems girls are more social-media focused, with boys more iterested in video games.

Teens on smartphones image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic