Teenagers are fickle beasts, as illustrated by the seemingly continual emergence and (at least relative) decline of new social networks and platforms. By now, Facebook is old news for old people, displaced by the photo-sharing site Instagram, which Facebook happens to own. But now, Instagram is facing competition from Snapchat, the new favorite among teens, according to a new survey from Piper Jaffray.
Overall, 28% of the 6,500 teens surveyed by Piper Jaffray said they consider Snapchat the most important social network, just ahead of Instagram at 27%, followed by Twitter at 18% and Facebook at 17%. Tumblr lagged in fifth place with just 2%.
The figures represent a noticeable shift from Piper Jaffray’s spring 2015 survey, when just 19% of teens identified Snapchat as the most important social network, compared to 33% for Instagram, 18% for Twitter, and 15% for Facebook.
Twitter and Tumblr have declined steadily over the last several years. Twitter slipped from 27% in spring 2014 to 24% in spring 2015, then 20% in fall 2015, before falling to 18% in spring 2016. Meanwhile, Tumblr slipped by 1% increments from 5% to 2% over the same period.
Originally an app for sharing ephemeral photos that disappeared after a short time, over the last few years Snapchat has grown into a social juggernaut with new capabilities putting it into direct competition with the other social nets. Currently the messaging app has over 100 million active users, and currently generates eight billion video per day, rivaling Facebook.
An independent study by Edison Research and Triton Digital suggests that 72% of Snapchat’s users fall in the 12-24 age demo, and Snapchat itself claims to reach over 60% of American smartphone owners ages 18-34.