The social media landscape is changing, and many will say this comes as no surprise after concerns about how Facebook handles our data and information. The latest Pew Research study indicates that teenagers prefer YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat over Facebook. Surveyed teens are on YouTube by an overwhelming 85%, while 72% of them are on Instagram and 69% on Snapchat, with Facebook trailing at 51% and Twitter bringing up the rear at 32%.
The shift in social media preference reflects a couple of technology changes. Notably, just about everybody carries a smartphone and they’re all capable of recording, transmitting, and playing video. More telling is the fact that lower-income teens are the ones still on Facebook; either they have poor equipment that can’t keep up with modern multimedia machines, or they’re influenced by their parents’ still hanging onto outdated desktops and laptops chugging along.
Another factor to consider is that Millennials are inherently wary of any corporations having too much power over them. Facebook, which has become criticized for its sloppy news handling and is taking steps to prevent it in the future, lost a lot of trust from the Millennial segment. By contrast, platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are built to be peer-to-peer networks, with teens communicating with each other instead of all being handed their information from a news service. It’s harder for a video from your best friend to be “fake news,” and also less convenient for advertisers to haunt your feed.