A new survey of American teenagers (ages 13 to 17) by the Pew Research Center has revealed a worrying trend for Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook as the share of teens who use the social media platform has plummeted from 71 per cent in 2014-15 to 32 per cent as of now.
Chinese short-form video platform TikTok has rocketed in popularity and is now a top social media platform for teens among Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.
Some 67 per cent of teens say they ever use TikTok, with 16 per cent of all teens saying they use it almost constantly.
Google-owned YouTube tops the 2022 teen online landscape among the platforms, as it is used by 95 per cent of teens.
TikTok is next on the list of platforms that were asked about in this survey (67 per cent), followed by Instagram and Snapchat, which are both used by about six in 10 teens.
After those platforms come Facebook with 32 per cent and smaller shares who use Twitter, Twitch, WhatsApp, Reddit and Tumblr, the Pew Research Center survey found.
This is the top reason why Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has placed his energies in making its platforms more like TikTok, and Instagram Reels now has a higher annual revenue run rate for ads ($1 billion) than Facebook/Instagram Stories at identical times post-launch.
"Changes in the social media landscape since 2014-15 extend beyond TikTok's rise and Facebook's fall. Growing shares of teens say they are using Instagram and Snapchat since then. Conversely, Twitter and Tumblr saw declining shares of teens who report using their platforms," said the survey.
Two of the platforms the Center tracked in the earlier survey, Vine and Google+, no longer exist.
"There are some notable demographic differences in teensa social media choices. For example, teen boys are more likely than teen girls to say they use YouTube, Twitch and Reddit, whereas teen girls are more likely than teen boys to use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat," the findings showed.
In addition, higher shares of Black and Hispanic teens report using TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp compared with White teens.
This study also explored the frequency with which teens are on each of the top five online platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
"Fully 35 per cent of teens say they are using at least one of them 'almost constantly'. Teen TikTok and Snapchat users are particularly engaged with these platforms, followed by teen YouTube users in close pursuit," the survey showed.
A quarter of teens in the US who use Snapchat or TikTok say they use these apps almost constantly, and a fifth of teen YouTube users say the same.
When looking at teens overall, 19 per cent say they use YouTube almost constantly, 16 per cent say this about TikTok, and 15 per cent about Snapchat.
Since 2014-15, there has been a 22 percentage point rise in the share of teens who report having access to a smartphone (95 per cent now and 73 per cent then).
"While teens' access to smartphones has increased over roughly the past eight years, their access to other digital technologies, such as desktop or laptop computers or gaming consoles, has remained statistically unchanged," the report noted.