Until very recently, Facebook was positioned as the dominant social network in our lives, but things are starting to change, especially among teenagers. In the last few years it went from being one of the most popular apps for American teenagers, to not even reaching the top three. The latest data from Pew Research Center have confirmed it — young people see facebook as the social network for staying in touch with family, teachers and classmates, and have moved on to new virtual spaces for expressing their creativity.
Why teenagers aren’t using Facebook
Research estimates that only 51% of teens between 13 and 17 report using Facebook daily. It’s a significant drop when you consider that the same survey done in 2015 had much higher stats, at 71%. According to Pew, this year’s study shows that the number of teenagers on Facebook is considerably lower than YouTube (85%), Instagram (72%) and Snapchat (69%). Instagram’s exponential growth is highlighted by the 2015 numbers, which were around 52%. In addition, the research showed that Facebook use was also tied to teenagers’ socio-economic situation: 70% of young people from families earning less than $30,000 per year are more inclined to spend time on Facebook, while those from higher-earning families preferred Facebook at much lower rates (10%). There are also ethnic and gender trends: girls prefer Snapchat (42%); white male teens like YouTube (39%); black teenagers consider Facebook the main social network at 26%, while white teenagers choose Snapchat at 41%. In any case, even in light of teenagers flocking away from Facebook, it remains the biggest social network in the world, with 2.2 billion monthly users.
Italian teenagers on instagram
And what about Italy? The latest research from Blogmeter has gauged the use of social networks across the country. As it was in 2017, Facebook is still in the top spot (84%). But Instagram is also climbing the charts, mostly winning over young people and growing from 40 to 46% in the last year. YouTube is one of the favorite apps in Italy, but it’s still far from the numbers reached in the United States. Blogmeter, which also ran a study called “Italians and Social Media”, had already noted last year that Italian teenagers aged 15-17 said they spent much more time on Instagram and YouTube than on Facebook.
In short, Instagram is a hit for Italians of Generation Y: according to data from Politecnico, posts on the social network increased tenfold in Milan over the last year. And it’s not the only one. Snapchat is also huge for the younger audience. But, in Italy at least, these platforms are also showing an increase in users aged 36-45. They’re often not active users – that is, they don’t post frequently – but they follow and interact with other profiles.
Nadeesha Dilshani Uyangoda
Editor freelance, blogger, attivista, studentessa. Lettrice ossessiva e scrittrice compulsiva. Italiana per cultura, srilankese per eredità — sempre a metà tra due mondi. Millennial che preferisce la carta, ma si adegua al digitale per paura dell’estinzione.