As we show in our new Teens report – Facebook remains the top social platform among 16-19s. However, its popularity is falling: about half of teenage internet users now say they are active on Facebook, down from 70% in 2012.

This still gives Facebook a notable lead over its rivals (YouTube and Twitter can boast active usage rates of around 30%, whereas Google+ posts a figure nearer a quarter) but it’s clearly important that two thirds of teen Facebookers in the UK and US say they are using the network less – mostly due to a lack of interest or else simple boredom with the site.

The ways in which teens are using the network are changing too. Last month, 4 in 10 teen Facebookers browsed the platform without contributing – a theme we explore in more detail inside our Passive Facebooking report.

It’s the smaller, more specialized social networks which are the main drivers – and beneficiaries – of these trends. Teens are significantly more likely than average to be using Tumblr (15% are – three times as many as who were active on the platform in 2012). Instagram has also doubled its teen audience since 2013; almost a quarter of Teens are now using the photo-sharing service.


Written by

Felim is Senior Trends Manager at GWI. He oversees the Trends team who produce a wide range of off-the-shelf reports and infographics along with our Chart of the Day series. Moving to GWI after completing a PhD, Felim specializes in writing about online consumer behaviors and digital trends.

Never miss a post

By subscribing you confirm you’re happy for us to send you our latest articles.

You’ve read our blog, now see our platform

Every business has questions about its audiences, GWI has answers. Powered by consistent, global research, our platform is an on-demand window into their world.