LONDON: YouTube is the 'coolest' social platform for teenagers aged 16 to 19, who rate Facebook far lower than the average of all internet users, according to a new study into the latest trends in social networking.

A fifth (20%) of teenagers choose the video-sharing site as their favourite platform, followed by Instagram (16%), Facebook (14%), Tumblr (13%) and Snapchat (12%).

This is one of the key findings from a quarterly social media report produced by GlobalWebIndex (GWI), the social analytics firm, which tested the views of nearly 16,000 UK and US internet users aged 16 to 64.

At 37%, Facebook stands out as by far the most popular, or 'coolest', social network for all users, but perhaps because it is viewed as such by older generations teenagers are switching to other sites.

Facebook also remains the world's largest online community, according to GWI's analysis from its larger global study, with the most members and active users. 

However, YouTube is the most popular network with 81% of all internet users saying they visited the site over the last month compared to 73% who visited Facebook.

Also of note, GWI found that Line was the fastest growing messaging app over the last year.

The Japanese networking app attracted a 57% increase in active users over the course of 2014, followed by Facebook Messenger (53%), Snapchat (45%), Instagram (43%), Pinterest (40%), WhatsApp (37%), WeChat (37%) and YouTube (35%).

The report said Snapchat remains "a key app to watch" because, again, it is so popular with teenagers.

Teens are about 3.5x as likely to use Snapchat as the average internet user, the report said, and more than 40% of them are using the platform in the UK and Canada. Furthermore, it is more popular among US teenagers than either Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

Data sourced from GlobalWebIndex; additional content by Warc staff