Facebook Is Not Teens’ Most Important Social Network

And the winner is: Instagram

A high profile teen survey out of the Pew Research Center last week revealed that Facebook is still the most popular social network among teens, with 71% using it. The research runs contra to the growing number of people who claim that Facebook is in decline among teens.

When we discussed the Pew research, we noted that in our opinion, while most teens are in fact using Facebook, that is not where the real action is any more – for teens, at least.

Coincidentally, Wall Street research firm Piper Jaffray released a report this week titled “Taking Stock With Teens” that surveyed a similar, yet much larger teen audience. Regarding social media, the Piper survey asked the question, “Which social network is the most important (for you)?” Facebook is not first. They’re third.


Only 14% of teens say that Facebook is their most important social network, down from 33% 2 years ago, with 47% of teens noting that they use Facebook. Instagram and Twitter are both more important, with Snapchat closing in quickly.

We suspect that the Piper Jaffray research – specifically, how the question was asked – gets at an important distinction. The difference between having an account on a social network and that network being your go-to platform for engaging with your friends can be a large one.

If true, what does this mean for parenting? For starters, if the extent to which you monitor your teen’s online activity is to follow them on Facebook, there’s no way you are getting a clear picture of what they’re doing online.

We don’t think Facebook is going away any time soon. It has a lot of important uses, from being your “official” online identity to being how you log into or comment on other platforms. Add to that the fact that teens who don’t currently have a Facebook account, or do but don’t use it very often, will probably be more active Facebook users once they start a family.

We hope that your teens aren’t doing anything unsafe online, or using social media for cyberbullying or to post inappropriate activity, but if they are, they’re not likely doing it on Facebook.

Check out our demo that shows how we can help you monitor just that.



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