Teens' Social Media Activity Is Diversifying
Jim Liebelt Jim Liebelt's Blog
- 2015 Apr 13
*The following is excerpted from an online article from TechCrunch.
A new report from Pew Research Center finds that teenagers still love Facebook, but access a growing number of popular social media providers, and their smartphones provide them with almost constant online access.
First startling stat: access to mobile devices is enabling a nearly quarter (24%) of teens to be online “almost constantly”.
Smartphone penetration (either ownership or access to a device) stands at a not-so-surprising three-quarters (73%) of teens, according to Pew. A further 30% of teens have access to a basic mobile.
Almost all (92%) the polled teens profess to go online daily. A majority (56%) are online several times per day. While those youngsters not getting a daily tech fix are a vanishingly tiny minority: just six per cent of teens report going online only weekly. And but 12% limit their digital activity to a once per day fix.
As you’d expect, access to mobile devices drives increased teen time online, with the vast majority (94%) of teens who access the Internet on a mobile going online daily or more often.
"American teens, especially African-American youth, have embraced smartphones and the 24/7 access to people and information that they offer," notes Amanda Lenhart, associate director for Research at the Pew Research Center and the report’s lead author, in a statement.
So what social media services are America’s Actual Teens obsessing about? Facebook first and foremost — which remains the dominant social network for U.S. kids. A majority (71%) of these 13- to 17-year-olds report using Facebook. Next most popular is Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram, used by 52% of teens. Then it’s Snapchat (41%); Twitter(33%) and Google+ (33%); Twitter-owned Vine (24%); and Tumblr (14%).
Pew notes that teens are diversifying their social network site use, with a majority (71%) reporting using more than one social network site out of the seven platform options they were asked about. Among the fifth (22%) of teens who only use one site, most (66%) use Facebook as their sole social fix, while 13% use Google+, 13% use Instagram and 3% use Snapchat.
Facebook also came out on top as the platform teens use most often, with 41% of teens identifying it as their most frequently used social service, followed by Instagram (20%), and Snapchat (11%).
The research identified some gender differences in U.S. teens’ online social activity, with boys more likely to report visiting Facebook more often (45% of boys vs 36% of girls), and girls more likely to report using Instagram than boys (23% vs 17%). Girls are also reported as generally dominating visually oriented social media platforms (including Pinterest), while boys are more likely to report gaming activity, either on a console or their smartphone. (Although it should be noted that a majority of both genders report playing games.)