Facebook losing ground to other platforms among teenagers

Posted Jun 1, 2018 by Tim Sandle
Facebook, once dominant across all generations, is losing ground to other social media platforms among teenagers. A U.S. based survey shows how the younger generation are turning to alternate channels.
Screenshot of video demo of new Facebook Reactions buttons  posted by Facebook engineer Chris Cox
Screenshot of video demo of new Facebook Reactions buttons, posted by Facebook engineer Chris Cox
Chris Cox, Facebook
There's no reduction in the amount of time that teenagers are spending on-line; if anything, the time spent engaging with digital content is growing considerably. Some 45 percent of U.S. teenagers indicate they are online “almost constantly.” This is based on a survey conducted by Pew Research. This proportion has almost doubled from the 24 percent who said they were always online in Pew’s previous review, which was conducted in 2014-2015.
This increased engagement with social media does not necessarily mean Facebook, and Facebook is not being used as often as it once was by the younger generation. This is a further inference from the Pew research, as analyzed by In terms of core social media use for teenagers (defined for the research as those aged between 13 and 17 years old), the Pew research indicates:
51 percent of U.S. teens use Facebook.
85 percent of teens use YouTube.
72 percent use Instagram.
69 percent use Snapchat.
Back in 2014-2015, the same demographic were using Facebook at a level of 71 percent; in other words, there has been a 20 percentage point reduction with the next wave of U.S. teenagers, and Facebook is at risk of slipping below the 50 percent use margin.
The data also indicates how rapidly things can change. According to Monica Anderson, from Pew, and as quoted by Ad Week: "The social media environment among teens is quite different from what it was just three years ago. Back then, teens' social media use mostly revolved around Facebook. Today, their habits revolve less around a single platform. At the same time we've seen this shift, teens are more digitally connected than ever."
Other findings from the survey are outlined in the companion Digital Journal article "U.S. teens spending "half-of their time" online."