Pew internet released their latest study on Teens, Social Media, and Technology on May 31, 2018. Here are three trends we see in their results:

1. Social media platforms are changing.
Facebook is no longer the de facto social media platform for teens. YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are all more popular now. While 85% of teens use YouTube, 72% use Instagram, and 69% use Snapchat — only 51% say they use Facebook now.

2. Practically all teens have smartphones.
The survey shows 95% of teens have access to a smartphone. This access is virtually the same regardless of gender, race, or household income.

3. Internet usage is moving toward “almost constantly”.
Almost twice and many teens (45%) says they use the internet “almost constantly,” as compared to a 2014-2015 survey. An additional 44% say they go online several times a day. Girls are more likely to be almost-constant users than boys, and Hispanics more likely than whites.

Main Street’s Analysis:
What do these trends mean to organizations marketing or communicating with teens?

While many non-profits have issues with Snapchat, your social media team needs to be developing their Instagram skills. Facebook will be around for a while, but their teen audience will continue to decline. (Facebook does continue to be an excellent platform for reaching parents of teens.)

We can assume all teens have smartphones regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic status, and those phones in use constantly. Marketing (or communicating) to teens should not be limited to the traditional 8 – 5, Monday through Friday schedule.


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