What Social Networks Do Teens Prefer? Not Facebook!
Article by George Norman
On 19 Oct 2015
Ask a teen what social network he likes best and you can bet good money that the answer won’t be Facebook. Even though Facebook has more than 1.4 billion monthly active users, even though Facebook is considered to be the social media king, it is not a teen’s first choice.

According to a Piper Jaffray survey of American teens, Facebook is a teen's 4th choice. The top 3 choices are…


3. Snapchat

19% of the teens who took part in the Piper Jaffray survey said they consider Snapchat as their most important social network.

Snapchat, which is available for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, lets you take photos, add text and drawings to photos, and share photos with your friends. These are called “snaps.” The cool thing is that the snaps you send will self-destroy after a period of time. You can put a time limit on your snaps, anything from 1 to 10 seconds. When that time limit is up, the snap will be deleted.

Snapchat – Main Features
  • Share pics and vids – send photos and videos to friends or groups of friends.
  • Customize your snaps – add custom text and drawings to your snaps (that’s the name given to the photos and videos you share via Snapchat).
  • Make snaps disappear – set an expiration period of up to 10 seconds for the snaps you share with others. The recipient can bypass this by taking a screenshot. If that happens, you’ll be notified that the recipient took a screenshot of your snap.
  • Availability – Snapchat is available for free for Apple’s iOS and for Google’s Android mobile operating system.
Learn more about Snapchat on its official website here.

I have to bring up a fun story involving Snapchat. You’d think that when the police is looking for you, the last thing you want to do is use social networking services to reveal your location. Not in this story! See how a wanted mean nearly evaded the police, but he was caught because he couldn’t stay away from Snapchat.

2. Twitter

20% of the teens who took part in the Piper Jaffray survey said they consider Twitter as their most important social network.

Micro-blogging and social networking service Twitter is all about keeping things short. Tweets (that’s how you call Twitter posts) have to be 140-characters or less – and that makes Twitter the ideal platform for quick and to the point conversations. If you want to say something that’s longer than 140 characters, try sending a direct message. Twitter did away with the 140-character limit for direct messages earlier this year. You can now send a direct message made up of 10,000 characters.

Twitter – Main Features
  • Tweets – post any tweet you want, as long as you don’t go over the 140-characters limit. Add media (photos or videos) to your tweets. Favorite the tweets you like, retweet posts you find interesting.
  • Follow(ers) – by following someone, you’ll get to see all the tweets that someone posts. Build up a list of followers and they’ll see everything that you tweet.
  • Talk privately – use direct messages to privately talk to other Twitter users.
  • Mentions – you’ll be notified when someone mentions you in a tweet, when someone retweets one of your posts, when someone favorites one of your tweets, and when someone chooses to follow you.
  • Moments – this is a new feature that Twitter is testing out in the US across Android, iPhone, and the desktop web. Moments uses human curators to bring you the most interesting news on the network.
  • Availability – as you can see here, Twitter is available for lots of platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more.
Learn more about Twitter on its official website here.

I have to bring up Periscope, the app that you can use broadcast videos and watch live video broadcasts. I bring it up only to remind you that Twitter acquired Periscope early 2015. So in case you did not know this, let me point out that Periscope is a Twitter product.

Twitter introduced Periscope for iOS in March, 2015. Periscope for Android was introduced a couple of months later, in May, 2015.

1. Instagram

33% of the teens who took part in the Piper Jaffray survey said they consider Twitter as their most important social network.

Instagram, the online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service, is popular with everyone, not just teens. The company announced in September 2015 that Instagram is used by more than 400 million people around the world.

I wonder how many of them are aware that Instagram belongs to Facebook.

Facebook, who came in 4th in Piper Jaffray’s survey with a percentage of 15%, acquired Instagram for about $1 billion in cash and stock, way back in April, 2012. A bargain, compared to the WhatsApp acquisition from February 2014. To purchase the popular messaging app, Facebook paid a whopping $19 billion.

Instagram – Main Features
  • Share media – take photos or shoot videos and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.
  • Filters – use a variety of filters to turn your photos and videos into something amazing.
  • Connect with others – follow the people you know, follow inspirational Instagrammers, photographers, athletes, celebrities or fashion icons.
  • Private messages – send private photo and video messages to your friends.
  • Availability – Instagram is available for free for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. A Beta version is available for Windows Phone.
Learn more about Instagram on its official website here.

Did you know that you can create collages with 'Layout from Instagram'? As the Instagram team said when it introduced the app, Layout from Instagram can be used to “combine multiple photos into a single image. It’s fun, it’s simple and it gives you a new way to flex your creativity.

The iOS version of the app was introduced in March 2015. The Android version was introduced a couple of months later, in May 2015.

About the Piper Jaffray survey

The findings listed above are part of a broader survey of teens’ attitude toward consumer brands. 9,400 teens ages 13 to 19 from households with an average income of $68,000 took part in the latest Piper Jaffray survey. 56% of them were male.

The Piper Jaffray survey has been conducted twice a year for the past 15 years.

Tags: social networking, teens, survey, Piper Jaffray, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, Layout from Instagram
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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