A new Pew Research Center survey found that 51 percent of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 say they use Facebook — a decline from the Center’s last survey of teen social media use in 2014-2015. Back then, 71 percent of teens reported being regular Facebook users.
Now, in 2018, three online platforms — YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat — are used by sizable majorities of this age group over Facebook.
The survey also found that lower-income teens are more likely to prefer Facebook than those from higher-income households. Seven in ten teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared to only 36 percent of respondents with an annual family income of $75,000 or more.
And as for which sites teens gravitate towards the most, roughly one-third visit Snapchat (35 percent) or YouTube (32 percent) most often, while 15 percent opt for Instagram and only 10 percent turn to Facebook. Twitter, Reddit or Tumblr are used the least often by the age group.
Gender also plays a role, as well as race and ethnicity. Girls are more likely than boys to report that Snapchat is the site they use most often (42 percent vs. 29 percent), while boys are more likely to pick YouTube as their go-to platform (39 percent vs. 25 percent).
In addition, white teens (41 percent) are more likely than Hispanic (29 percent) or black (23 percent) teens to choose Snapchat as the online platform they use most often, while black teens are more likely than whites to identify Facebook as their most used site (26 percent vs. 7 percent).
And while parents worry about the impact social media has on their children, 45 percent of teens believe social media has a neither positive nor negative effect on kids their age. Around three in ten teens (31 percent) believe social media has had a mostly positive impact, while 24 percent describe it as mostly negative.