Given all the fuss about teens leaving Facebook, GlobalWebIndex has taken a look at the most widely-used social platforms and mobile applications by 16-19-year-olds around the world. The global survey finds that Facebook remains the most commonly used social platform, with 56% of respondents claiming to have used it in the past month. Facebook’s mobile app is next, at 43% of respondents, followed closely by YouTube’s mobile app (39%) and site (35%). There are some surprises on the list.
Chief among those, the apparent popularity of Google+ in relation to other youth-oriented platforms. According to the study (which excluded China and therefore likely significantly under-represents that reach of WeChat), one-quarter of respondents in Q3 claimed to have used Google+ during the month prior to the survey, putting it behind Twitter (30%), but ahead of Instagram (19%) and Snapchat (10%), both of which heavily skew towards younger users, at least in the US. The Google+ mobile app has a narrower reach (14% of respondents) than the web platform, but still comes out ahead of Tumblr (11%) and Snapchat.
If teens are indeed moving away from Facebook, it’s interesting to see which platforms they’re gravitating to. In other results from the study, GlobalWebindex indicates that the WeChat mobile app is the fastest-growing platform, with more than a 10-fold increase in the estimated number of non-Chinese users between Q1 and Q3. (That reach started from a very small base, though, and stands at 5% in Q3 after all that growth.)
Use of Vine by older teens has also grown extremely rapidly, with the number of users up 639% (also to 5% reach), with Flickr’s mobile app (+254%) and Skype’s mobile app (+105%) also seeing triple-digit growth. Rounding out the top-5 fastest-growing platforms are Facebook Messenger (+89%) and Instagram (+85%), so perhaps Facebook isn’t doing too badly with the teens. In fact, the data says that the number of teens using Facebook’s mobile app has grown by 69%, even as the number of active users of its web platform has decreased by 17%.
As for Google+, its mobile app’s 77% growth rate among older teens slightly outpaces the growth rate (+69%) of Twitter’s mobile app, though the web platform is nowhere to be found on the list of top-20 fastest-growing platforms.
It’s worth noting that GlobalWebindex only began collecting data about SnapChat in Q3, so trend data is not available.
Other than that, the trends clearly show a shift towards increased use of mobile platforms, with messenger, video and photo apps in particular the flavor of the moment.