Despite growing concerns about the impact of social media on the mental health of teenagers, a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Institute reveals that teen usage of social media platforms remains relatively unchanged.

However, the data also highlights that approximately one in six teens describe their use of two specific platforms, YouTube and TikTok, as "almost constant." Seventy-one percent of teens reported visiting YouTube daily, with 16% stating their usage is almost constant. Similarly, 17% of teens reported using TikTok almost constantly. These numbers were slightly lower for Snapchat (14%) and Instagram (8%).

YouTube remains the most popular social platform among teens, with 93% of respondents saying they use the service. Although this figure is down by two percentage points from 2022, YouTube maintains a significant lead over its closest competitors, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. All three platforms lag behind YouTube by 30 percentage points or more. Furthermore, the survey indicates that three out of four platforms experienced a slight decline in usage over the past year, except for Snapchat, which saw a minor increase of one percentage point.

In contrast, Facebook's popularity among teens has dramatically decreased from 71% in 2014-15 to only 33% in 2023. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that only 19% of teens reported checking Facebook and a mere 3% described their usage as almost constant.

Social media platforms have come under fire for their algorithmic techniques that attract and maintain younger users. In October, a coalition of 33 states including New York and California filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms, accusing the company of knowingly designing features on Instagram and Facebook that contribute to the youth mental health crisis. Meta has vehemently denied these charges.

The Pew survey was conducted from September 26 to October 23 and involved 1,453 teens aged 13 to 17.

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