Recently, Niche – a site that provides information to consumers about neighborhoods, k-12 schools, and colleges — surveyed 7,000 graduating high school students. The 7,000 Niche users ranked fifty websites and apps based on how much they use them. Despite the fact that there seems to be a new rumor each week that Facebook is losing popularity, the site, along with Instagram and YouTube, did very well in the survey.
As Niche points out, this graduating class has become a very targeted group for tech companies, and these three sites — among others — are doing a good job of keeping students’ interest. All three sites provide an easy way for students to keep in contact or amuse themselves, and are understandably popular. The study didn’t just consider social media, video, and picture sites, however; other sites include LinkedIn, as well as several messenger sites.
Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube did the best according to the survey; Instagram won for most engaged users, Facebook had the most daily users, and YouTube won for most widespread usage. An incredible 87 percent of teens still use Facebook, and over half of those who responded used it at least once per day. Instagram was also immensely popular for daily usage, coming in close behind Facebook.
Myspace, on the other hand, which used to be one of the most popular social media sites (for many people it was the first social netowork they used), had very little usage — and its usage is down from a year ago.
Ninety-two percent of those surveyed didn’t use LinkedIn, which isn’t surprising since the survey focused on high school students, many of whom may not have to worry about getting a full-time job for a while. On the other hand, a Pew Research study found that 22 percent of online adults use LinkedIn.
Surprisingly, 45 percent of the teens said that they did not use Twitter. According to Pew Research, as of September 2013, 73 percent of U.S. adults used social networking sites, and 19 percent of online adults who responded were Twitter users. It seems that celebrities and average Americans alike are talking about Twitter, but not all teens, and few adults, are using it.
On the messenger side, Facebook was the clear winner in the teen department (as far as online sites go): 72 percent of those surveyed said they used Facebook messenger. However, text messaging still seemed to be the preferred method of communication, with 82 percent texting a few times a day. Of all the messaging apps, Snapchat was the most popular, with 39 percent using it a few times per day, and 65 percent of surveyed teens using it overall.
The survey also considered video sites. Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed said they used YouTube, with more than half reporting they used it at least once per day. Seventy-one percent also used Netflix, while 72 percent reported that they did not use Hulu. When it comes to music streaming, Pandora seems to be doing the best with teens. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed used Pandora, and 71 percent used iTunes at least occasionally.
The survey also indicated that high school seniors are not very interested in the news, or at least, they don’t read the top websites. Seventy-three percent don’t read Buzzfeed, 84 percent don’t read Reddit, and 96 percent don’t read Mashable or Gawker.
When we consider the results of this survey, and the fact that many of these students will be going to college in the fall, it seems clear that certain sites and apps will continue to dominate social media, music, video, and apps — at least for a while. Students, and teens in general, are very interested in technology, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon.