Favorite Social Media Platform of Teens

The chart below illustrates changes to teens’ favorite social media platform that they prefer to use. The chart illustrates the preferences from the Spring of 2015 thru the Fall of 2020 and illustrates the trends in taste between the (current) five most prominent social platforms; Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

Chart illustrating the favorite social media platform of teens 2015 to 2020
Teens Favorite Social Platform

Since the spring of 2016, Snapchat has been the favorite teens’ social media platform when they passed 25% of teens preferring that platform. The recent peak of Snapchat came in the Fall of 2017 when it reached about 47%. In the three years since that time, this preference has declined to the current level of 34%. Some of the decline was initially from Instagram, which had been in 2nd place since 2016, but has just slipped down to 3rd position.

Instagram (owned by Facebook) was the favorite platform at the beginning of this study at 29% and has only slipped down to 25%. Throughout 2019, Instagram had its preference peak at 35% but was in 2nd place behind Snapchat.

The two “old people” platforms have done nothing but decline throughout the years of this study. Twitter started the period as the 2nd most popular platform at 21% but has had a fairly steady decline in preference down to its current 3%. Facebook started back in 2015 as the 3rd (barely) preferred social platform ahead of Snapchat at 12%, but has declined steadily since 2016 down to its current 2% level.

The surprise entrant into the fray, Tik-Tok, has vaulted up to the 2nd most popular platform at 29% after being introduced to the list in the spring of this year (2020) with nobody picking them previously. In the spring, they were the preferred platform of 13% of teens, the 3rd highest.

It will be interesting how this changes over the next year or so, depending on what happens with the presidential action against Tik-Tok and whether they can remain or even grow their preferences in the coming years. One thing is certain, and this will change — because the teen years are not very long, and teens are very fickle when it comes to their preference. [Anyone still have a MySpace page?]

Kurt Tietjen
Kurt has been in the online media business as long as it's been a business. Former SVP of Operations for TheStreet.com, Chief Traffic Officer (head of audience & product) for Purch (formerly Tech Media Network), founder of High Peak Media and many other positions in businesses that no longer exist.