YouTube, which wasn’t included as a social media platform in the 2015 study, is the most popular, used by 85 percent of teens polled. Instagram is used by 72 percent of teenagers, and Snapchat by 69 percent. (Teenagers polled were allowed to choose more than one platform this year, and the two surveys used slightly different methods to ask teens about their social media use.)
The study also looked into how teens view the impact that social media has on their lives. Only 24 percent said they believe it has a “mostly negative effect” on people their age, whereas the vast majority believe it is mostly positive or has neither a positive or a negative effect.
The Pew study also showed that a significant percentage of U.S. teens play video games ― including computer, console and cellphone games ― which is not surprising. Eighty-three percent of teenage girls responded that they play video games, versus 97 percent of teenage boys.
The survey was conducted using the online NORC AmeriSpeak panel to reach 743 teenagers from March 7 to April 10. Interviews were conducted online and by telephone.
With the inclusion of YouTube and the dominance of video games in the lives of teenagers, it’s possible that gaming platforms like Twitch will play a more significant role in the next survey.
“It is clear the social media environment today revolves less around a single platform than it did three years ago,” the Pew Research Center said.