Teen social media use: death of Facebook and Google Plus greatly exaggerated

Teenagers are still using site more than anything else, despite claims that they are moving away from it — and Google Plus is as popular as Twitter

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The Independent Tech

Facebook rules over all other social networks for teenagers, with rival sites Instagram and Snapchat still far behind them, according to new research.

Though many have claimed that teens are leaving the site, 71 per cent of those in the study continue to use and 41 per cent say that they use it more than any other. Another much-maligned network, Google Plus, is the fifth most popular site and 33 per cent of teens say they regularly use it — as many as use Twitter.

Facebook-owned Instagram is the second most popular, with 52 per cent of those studied saying that they use it on a regular basis.

All of the sites have been driven by a huge switch to mobile, and the phone-only Snapchat is the third most popular network. The temporary picture-sharing service is regularly used by 41 per cent of teens, according to the Pew Research Center study.

The study surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 US teens.

Tumblr, the site that along with Snapchat is perhaps most closely associated with young people, is used by only 14 per cent of teens. That’s fewer than many sites that are thought of as more established and older, including Vimeo and Twitter.

But all of those results are skewed according to gender and class. Facebook’s appeal is mostly universal, but Instagram tends to be used by richer children while Snapchat and Twitter have more appeal to less well-off ones.