By Jennifer Korn
Nearly half of US teens say they use the internet “almost constantly,” according to a new survey released on Wednesday.
The survey of 1,316 teenagers delved into the technology habits of teens and was conducted by the Pew Research Center.
The percentage of teens who reported a near constant level of online presence was markedly up from a 2015 Pew survey in which only about a quarter of teens reported that level of internet use.
The survey found that the social media platforms most frequently used by teens are changing as well, with video-focused platforms like YouTube and TikTok leading in popularity.
Facebook is no longer such a dominant force in the lives of American teens, according to the new survey. Only 32% of US teens ages 13 to 17 say they now use Facebook. That’s down from the 71% of teens who said they used Facebook in a Pew survey conducted between 2014 and 2015.
Once the most popular social media platform for younger users by a long shot, Facebook has now been surpassed by YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, according to Pew.
YouTube, in particular, was used by 95% of teens, according to the survey, with nearly 20% reporting near constant use of the platform, making it the most popular social network, followed by TikTok. Of teens who used TikTok, nearly a quarter reported near constant use.
In recent years, Facebook and Instagram have taken steps to beat back competition from newer platforms. (Notably, teens were nearly twice as likely to be Instagram users than to be Facebook users.) Both platforms released features that replicate Snapchat’s signature Stories feature, which lets users post content that disappears after 24 hours. Instagram also introduced a short-form video option called Reels to compete with TikTok.
In some cases, however, those efforts have created new headaches for the company. Many Instagram users, including celebrities Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, recently criticized some of Instagram’s updates for making the platform too much like TikTok. Instagram has since walked back some of its changes.
Meta (META), the parent company of both Facebook and Instagram, did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
Meta has also come under scrutiny for the impact its services have on younger users, particularly teen girls, in the wake of leaks last year from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.
While teen usage of Facebook may have waned, this age group only seems to be more online.
In total, 97% of those surveyed said they use the internet daily, up from 92% of teens who said they used the internet daily in the 2015 report.
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