Facebook Use Among Teens Plummets 30% In Three Years

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

Facebook, which has until recently dominated the social media landscape among America's youth, is now just the fourth most popular online platform among teens between ages 13 and 17, with just 51% saying they use it, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. Facebook use among teens pales in comparison to YouTube (85%), Instagram (72%) and Snapchat (69%). Twitter is fifth with just 32% of teens reporting using the platform. 

The decline in Facebook use is stunning compared to Pew's 2014-2015 study, in which 71% of teens reported being Facebook users, and other platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat were nowhere near today's figures, at 52% and 41% respectively.

Meanwhile 95% of teens now have a smartphone or access to one, while 45% of teens say they are online on a near-constant basis, fueling ever-growing online activities.

This shift in teens’ social media use is just one example of how the technology landscape for young people has evolved since the Center’s last survey of teens and technology use in 2014-2015. Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teen life: 95% of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fueling more-persistent online activities: 45% of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis. -Pew

Breaking down teen use of Facebook by household income, 70% of teens from households making under $30,000 per year report using Facebook, while just 36% of teens from households making $75,000 or more are on the platform. 

Notably, lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households – a trend consistent with previous Center surveys. Seven-in-ten teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36% whose annual family income is $75,000 or more. -Pew

How teens view the impact of social media

Pew also asked the teenagers how they thought the use of social media affected their lives - and found no clear consensus. 

A plurality of teens (45%) believe social media has a neither positive nor negative effect on people their age. Meanwhile, roughly three-in-ten teens (31%) say social media has had a mostly positive impact, while 24% describe its effect as mostly negative.

Given the opportunity to explain their views in their own words, teens who say social media has had a mostly positive effect tended to stress issues related to connectivity and connection with others. Some 40% of these respondents said that social media has had a positive impact because it helps them keep in touch and interact with others. Many of these responses emphasize how social media has made it easier to communicate with family and friends and to connect with new people: -Pew...

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