The social media landscape is constantly changing, especially among young people who are often at the forefront of this space. A new Pew Research Center survey of American youth ages 13 to 17 shows that TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity since its launch in North America several years ago, and is now among the platforms surveyed. is one of the top social media platforms for the youth. About 67% of teens say they use TikTok sometimes, and 16% of all teens say they use it regularly. Meanwhile, the center’s 2014-15 survey found that the proportion of youth using Facebook, a dominant social media platform among youth, has dropped from 71 percent then to 32 percent today.
Among the platforms included in the center’s new survey, YouTube leads the 2022 youth online landscape, being used by 95% of teens. TikTok is next on the list of platforms asked in the survey (67%), followed by Instagram and Snapchat, which are used by six out of ten young people. Following platforms with 32 percent or less of shares are Twitter, Twitch, WhatsApp, Reddit, and Tumblr.1
The changes in the social media landscape since 2014-15 have gone beyond the rise of TikTok and the fall of Facebook. More and more teenagers say they are using Instagram and Snapchat since then. In contrast, Twitter and Tumblr saw declines in the proportion of young people who reported using their platforms. And the two platforms the center tracked in previous surveys, Vine and Google+, no longer exist.
There are some notable demographic differences in teenagers’ social media choices. For example, adolescent boys are more likely than adolescent girls to use YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit, while adolescent girls are more likely than adolescent boys to use TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. Additionally, higher proportions of black and Hispanic youth than white youth report using TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
The study also explores how often teens are on each of the top five online platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. 35% of teens say they use at least one of them “almost constantly.” Teenage TikTok and Snapchat users are particularly engaged on these platforms, followed by teenage YouTubers. A quarter of teens who use Snapchat or TikTok say they use the apps almost constantly, and a fifth of teen YouTubers say the same. Looking at teenagers in general, 19% say they use YouTube almost as often, 16% about TikTok and 15% about Snapchat.
When reflecting on the time they spend on social media in general, a majority (55%) of American teens say they spend a fair amount of time on these apps and sites, while nearly a third of teens (36%) say They spend too much time on social media. Only 8% of young people believe that they spend too little time on these platforms.
When asked about the idea of quitting social media, 54 percent of teens said it would be at least somewhat difficult to quit, while 46 percent said it would be at least somewhat easy. Teenage girls are more likely than male teens to say it would be difficult to quit social media (58% vs. 49%). Conversely, a quarter of teenage boys say it would be too easy to quit social media, while 15% of teenage girls say the same. Older teenagers also say they will find it difficult to quit social media. Six in ten 15- to 17-year-olds (58%) say it would be at least somewhat difficult to give up social media. A smaller proportion of 13-14 year olds (48%) thought it would be difficult.
In addition to online platforms, the new survey shows that the majority of young people have access to digital devices, such as smartphones (95%), desktop or laptop computers (90%), and game consoles (80%). . And studies show that daily teenage internet users have increased, from 92% in 2014-15 to 97% today. Additionally, the proportion of young people who say they are online almost constantly has doubled since 2014-15 (46% now and 24% then).
Here are some. Results of an online survey of 1,316 young people from April 14 to May 4, 2022 by the Pew Research Center. Further details on adolescent adoption and use of digital technologies are provided below.
Smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, and game consoles are widely accessible to young people.
Since 2014-15, the proportion of young people who report having access to a smartphone has increased by 22 percentage points (95% then and 73% now). Although teenagers’ access to smartphones has increased over the past eight years, their access to other digital technologies, such as desktop or laptop computers or game consoles, has remained statistically unchanged.
Surveys show that there are differences in access to these digital tools for certain groups. For example, nine 15-17 year olds Young adults (98%) are more likely to have access to a smartphone than their 13-14 year old counterparts (91%). Additionally, teenage boys are 21 points more likely to say they have access to game consoles than teenage girls. A pattern that has been reported in the Center’s previous research.
Access to computers and game consoles also varies by adolescent household income. American teens living in households with annual incomes of $75,000. Or more are 12 points more likely to have access to game consoles and 15 points more likely to have access to a desktop. Or laptop computer than teens in households with incomes below $30,000. Points are more. This gap in teen access to computers and game consoles is consistent with the digital divide in household income. That the Center has observed in previous teen surveys.
While 72% of American teens social media say they have access to a smartphone. Computer, and game console at home, affluent teens are especially likely to have access to all three devices. 76% of teens living in households earning at least $75,000 a year say they own or have access to a smartphone. Game console, and desktop or laptop computer, compared to those earning less than $30,000. Teens from households earning between $30,000. And $74,999 a year compared to teens who say they have access to all three (60% and 69% of teens, respectively).
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