Instagram Remains Teens’ Most Important Social Network; Snapchat Gains Steam

October 20, 2015

PiperJaffray-Teens-Most-Important-Social-Network-Oct2015Instagram continues to be at the top of the heap when it comes to teens’ most important social networks, details Piper Jaffray in its latest semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” report. While Instagram remains popular with teens, Twitter’s influence appears to be declining, and it is now challenged by Snapchat.

According to the results from Piper Jaffray’s survey, one-third of teens name Instagram their most important social network, up slightly from the prior edition. Twitter – which was briefly teens’ favorite network in late 2013 – was cited by 20% of teens, down from 24% in the previous survey. As such, Twitter is now rivaled by a rapidly-growing Snapchat, which was cited by 19% of respondents as their most important network, up from 13%.

Snapchat’s rise means that it has now overtaken Facebook, which is now the most important network to 15% of teens, stable from the previous survey, but considerably down from its leading position in late 2012 and early 2013.

This may serve to re-ignite the conversation about Facebook’s appeal to teens, which has ebbed somewhat from the fever-pitch it reached a couple of years ago. Of course, Facebook-owned Instagram is still tops among teens, and Facebook itself isn’t exactly doing too badly. Also, it’s important to remember that the Piper Jaffray survey asks teens about their most important network, which doesn’t necessarily equate with their most-used network. Indeed, research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates that Facebook is still the most commonly used – and the most frequently used – social network by American teens.

In other interesting results from the Piper Jaffray teen survey:

  • Amazon Prime penetration is rising across all household incomes, and tends to increase alongside household income levels;
  • Apple iPhone ownership and interest has moderately increased from the last survey;
  • Netflix now reportedly accounts for the largest share of time (38%) watching media content, followed by cable TV at 29% share and YouTube at 21% share (more on teens and traditional TV here);
  • The percentage of teens who don’t believe they need cable has increased from this time last year, and there has similarly been a decrease in the percentage of time that TV shows are watched on TV by teens; and
  • AM/FM occupies the greatest share of time spent listening to audio in the car (37%), but when it comes to time spent listening to music overall, MP3s dominate (37%), followed by streaming other than Pandora (21%) and Pandora (17%).

About the Data: The Taking Stock With Teens survey is a semi-annual research project comprised of gathering input from approximately 9,400 teens with an average age of 16 years. Teen spending patterns, fashion trends, and brand and media preferences were assessed through visits to a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the United States.

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