Actually, Teens Love Facebook

Remember a few months ago, when lots of bloggers (including yours truly) were all in a tizzy about studies that seemed to suggest that teenagers are leaving Facebook? And therefore Facebook is doomed, doomed, doomed I say? Well, that’s not necessarily true, judging by a series of more recent surveys. The latest data comes from Niche.com, which surveyed 7,000 graduating high school seniors to find out about their social media habits. Guess which social network came out on top in terms of daily users?

Yes, it was Facebook, with 87% of teens saying they have used it, and 61% saying they use it every day. True, some other social platforms are in the same neighborhood: YouTube scored higher in the “ever used” metric, at 97%, but the video-sharing site trailed in the proportion of daily users, with 55%. Meanwhile 66% of graduating seniors said they had used Instagram, with 51% saying they use it daily, and 65% have used Snapchat, with 46% using it daily.

Facebook users were also slightly less engaged than Instagram and Snapchat users, according to the Niche.com survey, with 77% for Instagram and 71% for Snapchat, versus 70% for Facebook. YouTube scored a 57% engagement score.

Twitter continues to lag behind among teens, with 55% saying the have used it and 35% saying the use it every day. However its smaller user base appears to be fairly engaged, with a respectable 64% engagement score. Google+, Vine, and Pinterest were all even further down the totem pole, and LinkedIn barely showed up, with just 8% of teens saying they had ever used it and a negligible 2% using it daily.

As noted, data from previous studies also seemed to refute the notion that teens are “totes over” Facebook. A report from Forrester Research, titled “Facebook Dominates Teens’ Social Usage: Why the Sky Isn’t Falling on the World’s Favorite Social Network,” drew on data from Forrester’s 2014 North American Consumer Technographics Youth Survey. Forrester surveyed 4,517 teenagers ages 12-17 about their social media habits, and found that 78% are using Facebook, while 46% said they were using Facebook more than they were last year, and 28% say they use it “all the time.” According to Forrester Instagram is used by just over half of teens, Twitter is used by less than half of teens, and Snapchat is used by 38%. Only YouTube is used by more teens, at 87%.

What’s more, Forrester predicts that rates of Facebook usage will actually rise, thanks to growing smartphone penetration and tweens transitioning to teens: “As today’s 12- and 13-year-olds grow into 16- and 17-year-olds, it’s likely their Facebook adoption will increase further.”

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