WASHINGTON DC: Facebook is no longer the most popular social media platform among teenagers aged 13 to 17 in the US, according to the Pew Research Center.

Its new survey, entitled Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018, found that Facebook is used by half (51%) of this age group, but that compares with 71% who did so three years ago, when Pew last examined the technology landscape for young people.

Facebook has been overtaken in popularity by YouTube (85%), Instagram (72%) and Snapchat (69%), while the other main online platforms used by American teens include Twitter (32%), Tumblr (9%) and Reddit (7%).

And even when it comes to which platform is used most often during the day, Facebook (10%) lags behind Snapchat (35%), YouTube (32%) and Instagram (15%).

Interestingly, Pew noted that lower-income teens tend to use Facebook more than their counterparts from higher-income households and they are also far more likely to say Facebook is the online platform they use most often (22% versus 4%).

There are also some differences related to gender and to race and ethnicity, with girls more likely than boys to say Snapchat is the site they use most often (42% versus 29%).

Meanwhile, boys are more inclined than girls to identify YouTube as their go-to platform (39% versus 25%), and white teens (41%) are more likely than Hispanic (29%) or black (23%) teens to say Snapchat is the platform they use most often.

These and other findings are based on a survey of 1,058 parents with a teenager aged 13 to 17 as well as interviews with 743 teens themselves. Research organisation NORC, at the University of Chicago, conducted the survey from March 7th to April 10th.

The survey further revealed the extent to which mobile devices have become a feature of young people’s social lives, with fully 95% of teens now having access to a smartphone.

And this greater mobile connectivity is, in turn, driving more persistent online activities, with 45% of teens reporting that they go online almost constantly while another 44% say they go online several times a day.

The survey also found there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on their lives. A quarter (24%) describe the effect as negative, about a third (31%) as positive, but the largest number (45%) say it is neither positive nor negative.

Sourced from Pew Research Center; additional content by WARC staff