LONDON: Loss of interest, privacy concerns and irritation with social media advertising has prompted one-in-ten social media users in the UK to stop using Facebook and Twitter in the past year, a new online survey has revealed.

Usage of Facebook and Twitter fell 9% and 10% respectively, according to the latest YouGov SixthSense Social Media report, which questioned 2,217 active UK social media users in February 2014 about seven major social sites.

Over half (55%) cited loss of interest as the main reason they had turned away from the social networks while 26% expressed concern about online privacy, 21% objected to advertising and 17% did not want third parties to access their personal data.

A similar proportion of about 20% said they didn't have the time to use the service while about 8% felt they had "outgrown" the sites or had stopped using them because their friends no longer did.

In another development, the established social networks also appeared to be facing a growing challenge from newer entrants, such as Instagram and Pinterest.

Almost one-third (30%) of Pinterest users joined the service in the six months prior to the survey while over one-fifth (22%) of Instagram users had adopted the site over the same period.

However, YouGov research director James McCoy emphasised that Facebook's decline had to be seen as relative because it still had "impressively high" levels of usage even if it may no longer be regarded by users as a fresh and new start-up.

It remained by far the most popular social network in the UK (86%), followed by YouTube (46%), Twitter (32%), Instagram (9%) and Pinterest (6%).

Separately, YouGov also questioned 508 British children aged 8-15 in March 2014 and found YouTube to be their most popular social media site.

A full 41% of this age group said they accessed YouTube most days, while Facebook was the second most popular site (36%), followed by Instagram (13%), Snapchat (11%), Twitter (10%) and WhatsApp (9%).

The relatively low level of interest among children for Facebook and Twitter was attributed to their belief that both were more geared towards an adult audience.

Data sourced from YouGov; additional content by Warc staff