Despite recent reports of dwindling usage among teens, Facebook remains the go-to social networking site for users between the ages of 13 and 17, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. However, teen users are also diversifying their choices for social networking, with 71 percent using more than one site to communicate with friends.
Pew researchers pointed out that this latest survey can't be compared in an apples-to-apples way to previous studies of teen online activity. Unlike past research, which was based on telephone interviews, the latest study gathered data from teens via an online survey.
With a majority of teens owning or having access to laptops or PCs, gaming consoles and smartphones, it should come as no surprise that 92 percent of them say they go online daily, according to Pew. More than half go online several times a day, and 24 percent say they do so "almost constantly."
A 'Frenzy of Access'
Smartphones in particular have enabled teens to participate in an active online life, according to Pew's "Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015." In fact, the report referred to their habits as a "frenzy of access." Nearly three out of four U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 own smartphones, and only 12 percent don't have mobile phones of any kind, the study found.
Overall, 76 percent of teens use social media sites and apps, although usage is higher (81 percent) among 15- to 17-year-olds than it is among younger teens. Eighty-nine percent say they use at least one of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Google Plus or Vine.
A smaller percentage of teens (22 percent) say they use just one site for social networking. Of these, 66 percent opt for Facebook, followed by Google Plus (13 percent), Instagram (13 percent) and Snapchat (3 percent).
"Facebook remains a dominant force in teens' social media ecosystems, even as Instagram and Snapchat have risen into a prominent role in teens' online lives," according to the Pew study. "Asked which platforms they used most often, the overall population of teens in this sample (ages 13 to 17) reported that Facebook was the site they used most frequently (41 percent said that), followed by Instagram (20 percent) and Snapchat (11 percent)."
Other Studies Show Decline Among Teens
The latest figures from Pew show that Facebook remains popular among teens, even though other studies show that activity on the site has been dropping off among younger users. A study by Piper Jaffray last spring, for example, found that Facebook had dropped to the third-most important social network for teens, behind Instagram and Twitter.
However, that study also noted that Facebook would likely continue to see a "near-term upside" among younger users as it continued developing new offerings and acquiring other social properties.
Another report from the digital agency iStrategyLabs last year found that the number of 13- to 17-year-olds on Facebook had declined by 25 percent since 2011, while usage of the site among people 55 and older rose by more than 80 percent.
Posted: 2015-04-11 @ 12:36pm PT
Google Plus is awesomeness!!