Teens “almost constantly” on YouTube, TikTok

One in five teenagers aged 13 to 17 say they almost constantly use YouTube and TikTok, while a majority of teens visit the two platforms daily.

YouTube is by far the most popular social media platform among US teenagers, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Nine in ten teens said they use YouTube.

It’s followed by TikTok, with 63% of teens saying they use it, Snapchat, used by 60%, and Instagram, by 59%. The share is higher among older teens aged 15 to 17, with about seven in 10 saying they use these platforms, according to the study.

While Facebook “once dominated the social media landscape among America’s youth,” the share of teens who used the site dropped from 71% a decade ago to 33% today, the study said.

At 20%, even fewer still use X, formerly known as Twitter, a drop from 33% a decade ago. For the first time, the survey included BeReal, which 13% of teenagers said they used.

The survey also asked teenagers how often they use or visit five of the most popular platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Nearly one in five teenagers said they’re on YouTube and TikTok “almost constantly.”

Image by Pew Research Center

About seven in ten teens use or visit YouTube at least once a day, while 58% of teens are daily TikTok users. About half of teens reported using Snapchat and Instagram daily, with 14% saying they use Snapchat almost constantly, compared to Instagram’s 8%.

Only 19% of teenagers said they use Facebook daily, with a mere 3% on the platform constantly.

Overall, more than nine in ten teenagers said they use the internet daily. Nearly half said they were online almost constantly, which is on par with last year’s results but “roughly double the 24% who said this in the 2014-2015 survey,” according to the Pew Research Center.

While teenagers actively consume social media despite “negative headlines and growing concerns,” the use of online platforms differs based on gender, race, age, and household income, Pew’s research said.

For example, teen girls were more likely than boys to use Instagram, BeReal, and TikTok, among others, while boys used Discord, Twitch, Reddit, and YouTube more than girls.

Eight in ten black teens said they use TikTok compared with 70% of Hispanic teens and 57% of white teens. Black teenagers also used X more than their Hispanic and white peers.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is most popular among Hispanic teens, while white teens are more likely to use BeReal.

Pew surveys also “consistently show” that Facebook usage remains higher among teens in lower-income households, with 45% of teenagers in households earning less than $30,000 a year saying they use Facebook, compared to 27% in households with an annual income of $75,000 or more.

At 71% and 61%, larger shares of teens in lower-income households also use TikTok than those in the highest-income households. Meanwhile, BeReal is more popular among children from wealthier backgrounds.

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