Survey: Number of teens using Facebook plummets since 2015

Your teenager might ditch Facebook soon, if they haven’t already — recent research from the Pew Research Center found that 51% of Americans age 13 to 17 report using the platform, down from 71% in 2014-2015, when it was the most popular social media platform surveyed.

So what has taken Facebook’s place? YouTube was the most popular platform surveyed this year, with 85% of teenagers saying they use it, and 32% reporting that they use it “most often.”

While 88% of American teenagers report that “they have or have access to a” computer in the form of a desktop or laptop, 95% say the same thing for smartphones.

What social media platforms teens are using

The research found that American teenagers are using these.

  • YouTube: 85% report using it, 32% report using it “most often”
  • Instagram: 72% report using it, 15% report using it “most often”
  • Snapchat: 69% report using it, 35% report using it “most often”
  • Facebook: 51% report using it, 10% report using it “most often”
  • Twitter: 32% report using it, 3% report using it “most often”
  • Tumblr: 9% report using it, less than 1% report using it “most often”
  • Reddit: 7% report using it, 1% report using it “most often”
  • None: 3% say they don’t use any of these platforms, and the same percentage say they use none of them “most often”

Pew notes that respondents weren’t asked about YouTube or Reddit in the 2014-2015 survey.

Facebook varies depending on household income

The 2018 research found that the most teens living in homes with annual incomes of less than $30,000 use Facebook, at 70%. But the percentages keep dropping as the income brackets go up, with 56% of teens in households earning $30,000 to $74,999 yearly and 36% of those in households earning a minimum of $75,000 yearly saying that they use it.

How much teens use the internet and how they think social media affects them

The research found that while 45% of American teenagers in 2018 report being online “almost constantly” using “either a computer or a cellphone,” 24% said so in 2014-2015.

While 45% of American teenagers in 2018 report being online “almost constantly” using “a computer or a cellphone,” 24% said so in 2014-2015. Forty-four percent in 2018 said they do it “several times a day,” versus 56% on 2014-2015. Eleven percent in 2018 said they do it “less often,” compared to 20% in 2014-2015.


Teens also seemed split as to how social media impacted their lives with 31% saying it had a mostly positive effect and 24% saying it was mostly negative.

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