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More than 15% of teens on YouTube or TikTok ‘almost constantly’

People walk past a billboard advertisement for YouTube on September 27, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images

Teenagers in the United States are glued to YouTube and TikTok, with nearly one in five saying they use the video-streaming apps “almost constantly,” according to a survey on the social media and Internet habits of teenagers published Monday by the Pew Research Center.

The survey showed that YouTube was the most “widely used platform” for U.S.-based teenagers, with 93% of the survey respondents saying they regularly use Google’s video-streaming service. Of that 93% figure, about 16% of the teenage respondents said they “Almost constantly visit or use” YouTube, underscoring the video app’s immense popularity with the youth market.

TikTok was the second most popular app, with 63% of teens saying they use the ByteDance-owned short-video service, followed by Snapchat and Meta’s Instagram, which had 60% and 59%, respectively. About 17% of the 63% of respondents who said they use TikTok, indicated they access the short-video service “almost constantly,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter, now known as X, are not as popular with U.S.-based teenagers as they were a decade ago, the Pew Research study detailed.

Regarding Facebook in particular, the Pew Research authors wrote that the share of teens who use the Meta-owned social media app “has dropped from 71% in 2014-2015 to 33% today.” Over the same period, Meta-owned Instagram’s usage has not made up the difference in share, increasing from 52% in 2014-15 to a peak of 62% last year, then dropping to 59% in 2023, according to the firm.

The researchers found that teenage girls were more likely to use apps like BeReal, TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook than their male peers. Teenage boys, on the other hand, were more likely to use more video-game-centric messaging and social apps like Discord and Twitch.

Regarding race and ethnicity, the survey found that about 80% of Black teenagers use TikTok, compared 70% of Hispanic teens and 57% of White teens. Hispanic teens are also more likely to use the Meta-owned WhatsApp messaging service than Black or White teens, the report noted.

Ultimately, the latest study on teen use of social media was similar to last year’s report, which Pew Research said indicated that “teens’ site and app usage has changed little in the past year.”

“The share of teens using these platforms has remained relatively stable since spring 2022, when the Center last surveyed on these topics,” the authors wrote. “For example, the percentage of teens who use TikTok is statistically unchanged since last year.”

The Pew Research Center survey was based on the responses of nearly 1,500 thirteen-to-seventeen-year-olds from Sept. 26 through Oct. 23, 2023.

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