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Teens pick Snapchat as top social network for the first time

The company leapfrogged over Instagram and Twitter, which both saw their share among teens decline

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 15, 2016
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/44d0

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It's one thing to know that something is happening; its a whole other thing to see it in black and white right in front of you. We've all know that there was a shift happening in social media, especially with Snapchat surging in popularity. Now we have real data to back it up and the numbers are startling. 

In its biannual "Taking Stock With Teens" survey, Piper Jaffray asked 6,500 teens, with an average age of 16.5 years old, what their favorite social network is. For the first time ever, the answer was Snapchat. 

With 28 percent of respondents, Snapchat just barely beat out the previous champ, Instagram, which had 33 percent of teens in the Fall of 2015. In just six months Instagram has taken a big hit, and fallen six percentage points to 27 percent. Snapchat, meanwhile, surged nine percentage points in the same time period.

There was another milestone for Snapchat in this report: it surpassed Twitter for the first time as well. In the last report it had been one percent point behind; this time around it was 10 percentage points ahead. 

This is a big sea change in a very short amount of time.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, the company that has tried repeatedly to either buy, or outright copy, Snapchat, to no avail. 

Facebook has had to endure plenty of reports about teens abandoning the platform, but the data shows that they are actually growing. While the company did see a big dip in the Spring of 2015, falling from 23 percent to 14 percent, it has actually grown in each of the last two reports, getting its number back up to 17 percent. So things aren't where they were a couple of years ago, but at least things are heading in the right direction.

The only other social media network to see any growth was Pinterest, which went from 1 percent to 2 percent. 

Social media for millenials

Data out from comScore earlier this month, Snapchat also dominates among the next age bracket as well, 

For the 18 to 24 year olds, Snapchat has a 64 percent reach, meaning that is the percent that has the Snapchat app on their phone, up from 24 percent in early 2013. Among the 25 to 34 year olds, it's 31 percent. After that it falls off a cliff, at just 8 percent. 

For Facebook, the data is mixed. While younger people spend a lot of time on Facebook, the network is seeing a lower percentage of young people than its rival.

Among 18 to 34, Facebook still remains, far and way, the network that they spend the most time on, coming close to nearly 1,000 minutes per visitor, per month. Only two other networks even reach 200 minutes, Snapchat and Instagram. 

At the same time, only 16.5 percent of its users are 18 to 24, tied with Pinterest for the second-smallest percentage. Only LinkedIn is lower with 15.5 percent. In the next age group, 25 to 34 years old, it actually comes in last, with 20.3 percent.

When it comes to overall number of users, Snapchat still can't compete against these other networks. While it has around 100 million users, Twitter has over 300 million, Instagram has 400 million and Facebook has over 1.2 billion. So those other networks aren't going anywhere, at least not yet. 

Unless they figure out a way to hook in those future users, though, that may not be the case in 10 to 15 years. 

(Image source: huffingtonpost.com)


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