Facebook losing popularity among US teenagers, Pew research reveals

According to new research from the Pew Research Center, the percentage of teenagers using Facebook has plunged over the past few years.

Only 51% of Americans aged 13 to 17 who took part of Pew’s latest survey said they use Facebook, a 20% drop from the 71% of teens who said they used Facebook in Pew’s previous survey in 2015.

Facebook is no longer the dominant online platform for teenagers. Facebook use was “notably lower” than the percentage of teens who said they used Youtube (85%), Instagram (72%), or Snapchat (69%).

YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens

Use of social media platforms was, for the most part, similar across different demographic profiles. However, Pew found that lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than teens from higher-income households.

Facebook use among teens living in households earning less than $30,000 was at 70%, while just 36% of teens in households whose annual income was $75,000 or higher said they use Facebook.

The survey also revealed that 95% of teens either own a smartphone or have access to one, while almost half (45%) said that they were online “almost constantly”.

“The social media environment among teens is quite different from what it was just three years ago,” said Pew researcher Monica Anderson, the lead author of the report.

“Back then, teens’ social media use mostly revolved around Facebook. Today, their habits revolve less around a single platform. At the same time we’ve seen this shift, teens are more digitally connected than ever.”

Facebook is the biggest social network in the world, with over two billion users. However, surveys are showing that the platform is becoming less popular among younger users.

A survey earlier this year by eMarketer found that there was a 9.9% decline in Facebook use among Americans aged 12-17. The company predicts that Facebook will lose 2.1 million American users under 25 this year.