Nearly 1 in 5 teens use TikTok, YouTube 'almost constantly,’ survey finds

A new report reveals that nearly 1 in 5 teens say they're on YouTube or TikTok "almost" constantly and more than 30% say they are on these social media platforms "several times a day." 

The report, conducted between Sept. 26 - Oct. 23 by Pew Research, surveyed more than 1,400 13- to 17-year-olds.

The center found that YouTube was the most widely used online platform and was frequently visited by teenagers. The data collected revealed that 7 in 10 teens said they visit the video-sharing platform daily, including 16% who reported being on the site almost constantly.

Meanwhile, 58% of teens said they were daily users of TikTok, which included 17% who described their TikTok use as almost constant. About half of teens reported using Snapchat and Instagram daily.

Far fewer teens said they used Facebook daily (19%), with only 3% saying they are on the site almost constantly.  

Teen girls were more likely than boys to say they almost constantly use TikTok (22% vs. 12%) and Snapchat (17% vs. 12%). However, there were little to no differences in the shares of boys and girls who reported almost constantly using YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.


File: Teen uses Facebook. (Credit: (Photo Illustration by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

In addition, Hispanic teens stood out in TikTok and Snapchat use. For instance, 32% of Hispanic teens said they are on TikTok almost constantly, compared with 20% of Black teens and 10% of White teens.

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The findings echo other studies that have highlighted social media addiction among kids and teenagers. 

A recent Gallup poll showed that just over half of U.S. teenagers (51%) reported spending at least four hours per day using a variety of social media apps. 

In the survey, this use amounted to 4.8 hours per day for the average U.S. teen across seven social media platforms.

In May, the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy warned that there was not enough evidence to show that social media is safe for children and teens — and was calling on tech companies, parents and caregivers to take "immediate action to protect kids now."

"I recognize technology companies have taken steps to try to make their platforms healthier and safer, but it’s simply not enough," Murthy told The Associated Press in an interview. "You can just look at the age requirements, where platforms have said 13 is the age at which people can start using their platforms. Yet 40% of kids 8 through 12 are on social media. How does that happen if you’re actually enforcing your policies?"

This story was reported from Los Angeles.