TikTok Neck and Neck with Snapchat Among Teens’ Favorite Social Platforms

April 26, 2021

PiperSandler Teens Favorite Social Platform Apr2021It wasn’t too long ago that TikTok left Instagram in its wake to become the second-most favorite social media platform among US teens. Now it’s taking a run at the #1 spot, per the most recent report on teens from Piper Sandler.

In the latest semi-annual survey of 7,000 US teens, Piper Sandler found that Snapchat has retained a narrow lead as the favorite social media platform among teens, garnering a 31% share of those surveyed.

However, TikTok threatens to knock Snapchat out of the position it has held since Spring 2016, with some 30% of teens citing TikTok as their favorite social platform. This is quite a leap from one year ago when only 13% of teens said that TikTok was their favorite.

And, while advertisers continue to increase their ad spending on Instagram, the platform’s favor among teens is ceding share to TikTok. Some 24% of teens named Instagram as their favorite platform in this most recent survey. This is down considerably from 2019 when it was the favorite for more than one-third (35%) of teens.

While Snapchat and TikTok battle it out for the top spot in the hearts of teens, Twitter and Facebook have maintained their positions towards the bottom of the list, with 3% and 2% of teens, respectively, naming them as their favorite. In the meantime, a relative newcomer, Discord, has pulled into the #4 spot with a 5% share of the vote.

Instagram Heads the Pack in Engagement

Much like in previous surveys, the average teen reports spending about 12 hours per week on social media. And, although Instagram is losing its position when it comes to being a favorite platform, it has consistently been the social platform that teens engage with most often. A full 84% say they go on the platform at least once per day.

Snapchat, which has seen adoption slip in the past 2 years, is used daily by 78% of teens, down from 80% last Fall. On the other hand, TikTok engagement is on the rise, climbing from 62% of teens using the app at least daily in the Spring of 2020 to 71% this year. Along with the growth in adoption of TikTok, the number of hours users, in general, spend with the app has also risen.

Once again, Twitter (41%), Pinterest (34%) and Facebook (28%) see much lower engagement among teens.

Teen Spending

Piper Sandler also looked at where teens are spending their money. The survey revealed that teens self-report spending an average of $2,165 per year. The biggest share of their spending is dedicated to food. Some 22% of upper-income teen – and 21% of average-income teen – wallets go towards food.

About two-thirds (68%) of respondents consider themselves to be gamers, up slightly from 65% this time last year. Consequently, a fair share of teens’ spending is going towards video games. The report estimates that teens will spend 16% of their budget on video games, averaging about $217 per year.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 7,000 US teens with an average age of 16.1.

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