What the Teens Are Up To: Most Used Social Channels

teens most used social channels

While parenting a 13-year-old, I realized two things: first, I’m old and second, social media wasn’t a thing when I was a teen. To stay relevant to my ever-growing bundle of joy, I’ve had to dive into apps I otherwise wouldn’t use as much. Before doing any research, I assumed that YouTube and Instagram would be ranked the highest among teen’s most used social channels. I was partially right! According to the 2Pew Research Center’s 2018 poll, 32% of teens in the U.S. use YouTube the most while 35% are using Snapchat. To no surprise, Facebook usage among teens is much lower, as has been the predicted trend; a trend that has affected users of all demographics. These numbers are not driven by teens closing their accounts, 51% of teens still have their accounts, they just choose to spend their time elsewhere.


Numbers aside, I can tell you with certainty teens are constantly on YouTube, Snapchat and The Gram (me being relevant). Where teens spend their time online says a lot about who they are what they need. Over the past 5 years I’ve noticed among my daughter’s friends, a desire to create their own YouTube channels, whether for sharing their passion for dance, slime tutorials, beauty tutorials or reaction videos. The downside to this is that a large chunk of their time is spent creating a version of themselves that their peers may like more than who they are. 1According to a Washington Post article, teens wish their parents knew three things about social media.

  1. Taking away a device may not stop them from accessing the internet; they have a backup
  2. Many of them have fake Instagram accounts
  3. If they are passionate or angry about something, they take it to social media

Marketing to teens would be well spent showing them how to influence their peers in a positive way, all while making money doing what they already do for free. Instead of yelling at them to put their phones down, we should be showing them how to become thought leaders of their generation by using their tools to shape the marketing world.


  1. “What teens wish their parents knew about social media.” January 9, 2018


  1. “Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018.” May 31, 2018


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