Teens still really love Instagram, even as they abandon Facebook's core app that's been taken over by their parents

Teens still really love Instagram, even as they abandon Facebook's core app that's been taken over by their parents
Iuliia Bondar/Getty Images
  • Teens use Instagram the most and Facebook the least, according to a new Piper Sandler survey.
  • About 80% of respondents said they use Instagram while just 27% said they use its parent, Facebook.
  • Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion in what has become a controversial sale.

Teens use Instagram more than any other social media platform, a new survey found. The least used network? Its parent, Facebook.

The bi-annual Piper Sandler "Taking Stock With Teens" survey dropped Tuesday, which asked 10,000 US teenagers a number of questions pertaining to a wide range of industries.

Of those surveyed, 81% said they used Instagram, the highest percentage out of six platforms. Seventy-seven percent said they use Snapchat and 73% said they use TikTok.

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Just 27% of respondents said they use Facebook. Compare that to the 71% of users above the age of 56 that said in late 2020 that they use Facebook, according to Statista data from earlier this year.

Instagram may be the most used social platform among teens, but it's not the youth's favorite. Just 22% of respondents said Instagram was their favorite, while 35% said Snapchat was, and 30% said they favored TikTok the most. Two percent said Facebook was their favorite.


Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, a sale that has become controversial given allegations of anti-competitive business practices against the tech giant. Critics have accused Facebook of buying rivals to neutralize that competition.

Instagram has also come under fire in recent weeks following internal Facebook research, shared by a whistleblower with the Wall Street Journal, which showed the detrimental effects Instagram can have on teen girls' body image and self-confidence.

When TikTok landed on the scene in 2016, the video-sharing platform shot up in popularity, giving Instagram a run for its money. It has been downloaded three billion times, a milestone that only Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram have achieved.

Instagram took note of its success and developed a copycat feature inside its app. Users can post Reels, short-form videos that are not unlike TikToks.