Facebook was the most used social media platform amongst teens from 2014-2015. However, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat all surpassed Facebook in usage from teenagers, according to a recent Pew Research study.
The study revealed that 10 percent of teens use Facebook most often, while 35 percent prefer Snapchat and 32 percent of teens are on Youtube. The amount of teens using Facebook has declined by 31 percent since 2015.
While there are still over 2.2 billion people with an active Facebook account in the world, according to Business of Apps, teens have been moving away from Facebook to escape from the watchful eyes of parents and adults.
“Newer kids don’t seem to like Facebook as much,” Eric Lang, a 16-year-old attending high school in Ohio said to The Washington Post. “People around my age use Twitter and Instagram. It only seems like adults are on Facebook.”
USA Today has also backed up this claim, stating that Facebook is struggling to retain teens since many of those signing up for Facebook seem to be parents of the teens who are leaving. This created a change in how ads are displayed on Facebook and how Facebook owners are focusing on Instagram to retain a teenage audience.
“Facebook is fortunate that it owns Instagram, which remains a strong platform for teens,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said to USA Today. “Usage of the main Facebook app is declining among teens, marketers will still be able to reach them on Instagram.”
The Pew Study also revealed how teens display mixed feelings on the impacts that social media has on their generation.
“A plurality of teens (45%) believe social media has neither a positive nor negative effect on people their age,” according to the Pew study. “Meanwhile, roughly three-in-ten teens (31%) say social media has had a mostly positive impact, while 24% describe its effect as mostly negative.”
The teens who talked about the positive influence of social media highlighted the ability to easily connect with family and friends, while the downside of social media is bullying and the spread of gossip.
“Research shows an increase in major depressive episodes from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014 in adolescents and from 8.8% to 9.6% in young adults,” according to Psycom.
The adolescents ranged from the ages 12 to 20. These statistics prove a negative impact that social media has on the teenage population.
The Pew Study also revealed that 95 percent of teens said that they had access or owned a smartphone. This was 22 percent higher than the study done from 2014 to 2015, which showed that 73 percent of teens have one themselves or have access to a smartphone.