Youth Now Say They’re More Likely to Use Snapchat Than Facebook or Instagram

EdisonTriton-Social-Media-Use-Among-Youth-2014-2016-Mar2016Almost 8 in 10 Americans aged 12 and older currently use some form of social media, according to the latest annual Infinite Dial report [pdf] from Edison Research and Triton Digital. While Facebook maintains the broadest awareness among respondents (93%), awareness of Snapchat has grown quickly from last year (71%, from 60%), and now takes the top spot in reach among respondents aged 12-24.

Indeed, some 72% of respondents aged 12-24 said they currently use Snapchat, up from 57% last year. In the process, Snapchat has surpassed Instagram usage, which itself has grown from 59% to 66% among this demographic.

Interestingly, Facebook use continues to recede among youth, falling to 68% from 74% last year and 80% the year prior. (Cue the renewed media frenzy over Facebook use among teens…) But it remains the most frequently used platform among 12-24-year-old social media users, as:

  • 32% said they use it most often, down from 43% last year; while
  • 26% use Snapchat most often, up from 15% last year; and
  • 17% use Instagram most often, relatively flat from 18% last year.

EdisonTriton-Most-Commonly-Used-Social-12-24-Mar2016

The results bring to mind research released late last year from Forrester. That study found that while Facebook wasn’t perceived to be as “cool” as Snapchat or Instagram among 12-17-year-old users, it was the most heavily used platform.

In another study, from Piper Jaffray, Instagram remained as the “most important” social network to teens, with Snapchat rising quickly to top Facebook and rival Twitter.

Meanwhile, it’s a very different story when taking into account the rest of the Infinite Dial survey sample (not just youth). Among all respondents aged 12 and older, Facebook easily leads in reach, currently used by 64% of respondents, up slightly from last year’s 62%. Instagram follows (29%, up from 24%), ahead of Pinterest (25%, up from 21%) and Snapchat (23%, up from 17%), with each of these apparently currently used by more Americans than Twitter (21%, up from 18%) and LinkedIn (20%, up from 18%).

Facebook again leads in frequency of usage, also, with 35% of respondents saying they use it “several times per day.” Snapchat (12%) and Instagram (12%) are the next-most heavily used platforms among the entire 12+ sample, followed by Twitter (7%).

In comparing the social media platforms used most often by men and women, the study finds that:

  • Women (67%) are more likely than men (57%) to say they use Facebook most often;
  • Women (7%) are also more likely than men (1%) to cite Pinterest as their most-oft used platform; while
  • Men (8%) are more likely than women (1%) to say they use LinkedIn most often; and
  • Men (7%) are also more likely than women (2%) to tab Twitter as their most-used platform.

In other results from the study:

  • 1 in 4 respondents (12+) reported listening to Pandora during the previous week, led by the 12-24 (33%) and 25-54 (32%) age groups;
  • Some 29% of 12-24-year-olds say it is “very important” to keep up-to-date with music, compared to 17% of Americans aged 12 and older;
  • Friends and family (68%), AM/FM radio (68%) and YouTube (66%) are the primary sources used to keep up-to-date with music by those who say that it is very or somewhat important to do so; and
  • Among 12-24-year-olds who feel it is very or somewhat important to keep up to date with music, YouTube (86%) is the most commonly used source for doing so, ahead of friends and family (74%) and AM/FM radio (58%).

About the Data: The results are based on a national telephone survey conducted in January and February 2016 of 2,001 people aged 12 and older. Interviews were 52% land line and 48% cell phone, and the survey was offered in both English and Spanish.