YouTube Leads Facebook, Snapchat Among Teens

While YouTube is only building out its social features now, the video-sharing site already leads the other big social platforms among teenage users, according to a new survey of 804 U.S. teen Internet users, ages 13-17, conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft and publicized by eMarketer. However the results also show this is hardly a zero-sum game, with most teens typically using multiple platforms.

Among the teens polled, 91% of respondents said they use YouTube, putting the Google-owned video site ahead of Snapchat at 66%, Instagram (owned by Facebook) at 65%, and Facebook at 61%. A bit further down the totem pole, 52% of teens said they use Kik Messenger, 43% use Skype, 40% Twitter, 31% Vine, and 24% Tumblr. It’s worth noting that a non-social channel, Gmail, also scored very well among teens, with 75% saying they use Google’s email service, second only to YouTube.

In terms of social media’s overall popularity, eMarketer estimates that the number of U.S. teens ages 12-17 who use social networks at least once per month will grow from 17.5 million this year to 18.2 million by 2020.

As noted, YouTube is somewhat belatedly adding more social sharing features to shore up engagement in the face of competition from Facebook and Twitter in the all-important video arena.

The YouTube Community tab, introduced earlier this month, resembles a Facebook-style news feed for video producers, giving video producers and viewers the ability to communicate through formats including text, images, videos and animated GIFs. It allows fans to see all the posts from video creators they’re following on YouTube grouped together in the “Subscription” feed, and they can also choose to receive alerts whenever a creator posts a new video. The timeline feature displays content from their various subscriptions in chronological order.

As of the first half of this year, Facebook users were already watching around 100 million hours of video daily in newsfeeds, or about half of YouTube, which claims its audience consumes six billion hours of video per month, or roughly 200 million hours of video per day.
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