In its 32nd semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, Wall Street research firm Piper Jaffray found that while Facebook-owned Instagram is still a favorite among America’s teenagers, that Facebook itself has quickly fallen out of favor.
While 52% of teens polled admitted they use Facebook at least once per month, that number was down significantly from the 60% level seen just six months ago. Meanwhile, only 13% said Facebook was their favorite social media service, down from 15% in the spring.
The big winner of the survey was privately-held Snapchat. A massive 80% of teens said they use that platform, up from 75% in April, and 35% called it their favorite social media service. That’s up big from the spring, when only 24% identified Snapchat as their favorite.
Snapchat is reportedly planning a $25 billion IPO for March, which could represent the first real threat to Facebook’s social media dominance.
The results of the survey weren’t all bad for Facebook, of course. Its Instagram property is still hugely popular amongst youngsters, with 79% using it at least once a month, and 24% calling it their favorite social media platform. Those numbers are up from 74% and 23%, respectively, in the spring. Advertisers have been flocking to Instagram as of late, no doubt in part because of its immense popularity among America’s youth.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster commented:
“Facebook saw declines in the percent of teens indicating they use the platform, which is likely the result of 1) declining engagement as new social platforms shift user behavior, 2) younger teens (less engaged) replacing older teens (more engaged) in survey population, and 3) shifting use case towards Messenger may actually be creating two separate social networks in teens’ minds. Decline in Facebook engagement is largely baked into buyside expectations. Instagram growing despite Snapchat popularity – difference between default public (Instagram) and default private (Snapchat) proving to be a defensive moat.”
The semi-annual survey polls 6,500 U.S. teens across 46 U.S. states about a variety of topics, including social media, TV shows, restaurants and more.
Facebook shares rose $0.61 (+0.48%) to $128.43 in premarket trading Friday. Year-to-date, FB stock has gained 22.13%, more than quadrupling the return of the S&P 500 during the same period.