Teens, Social Media and Technology Overview 2015: Some 68% Go Online at Least Daily; The Platforms Are Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat
April 9, 2015
24% of teens go online "almost constantly," facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones.
Aided by the convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices, especially smartphones, 92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online "almost constantly," according to a new study from Pew Research Center. More than half (56%) of teens — defined in this report as those ages 13 to 17 — go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often.
The Snapchat Logo. Wikimedia Commons
Much of this frenzy of access is facilitated by mobile devices. Nearly three-quarters of teens have or have access1 to a smartphone and 30% have a basic phone, while just 12% of teens 13 to 17 say they have no cell phone of any type. African-American teens are the most likely of any group of teens to have a smartphone, with 85% having access to one, compared with 71% of both white and Hispanic teens. These phones and other mobile devices have become a primary driver of teen internet use: Fully 91% of teens go online from mobile devices at least occasionally. Among these "mobile teens," 94% go online daily or more often. By comparison, teens who don't access the internet via mobile devices tend to go online less frequently. Some 68% go online at least daily.
African-American and Hispanic youth report more frequent internet use than white teens. Among African-American teens, 34% report going online "almost constantly" as do 32% of Hispanic teens, while 19% of white teens go online that often.Facebook is the most popular and frequently used social media platform among teens; half of teens use Instagram, and nearly as many use Snapchat
Facebook remains the most used social media site among American teens ages 13 to 17 with 71% of all teens using the site, even as half of teens use Instagram and four-in-ten use Snapchat.
71% of teens use more than one social network site
Teens are diversifying their social network site use. A majority of teens — 71% — report using more than one social network site out of the seven platform options they were asked about. Among the 22% of teens who only use one site, 66% use Facebook, 13% use Google+, 13% use Instagram and 3% use Snapchat.
This study uses a somewhat different method than Pew Research Center’s previous reports on teens. While both are probability-based, nationally representative samples of American teens, the current survey was administered online, while our previous work involved surveying teens by phone. A great deal of previous research has found that the mode of interview — telephone vs. online self-administration — can affect the results. The magnitude and direction of these effects are difficult to predict, though for most kinds of questions, the fundamental conclusions one would draw from the data will be similar regardless of mode. Accordingly, we will not compare specific percentages from previous research with results from the current survey. But we believe that the broad contours and patterns evident in this web-based survey are comparable to those seen in previous telephone surveys.
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