Generation Scroll: How Teens Navigate the Social Seas

TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram lead the pack. Facebook? Just cringe.

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In Today's Issue

Social Media • Where the Teens Are, Redux

Time to check in again on where young people spend their time online.

New research from the Pew Research Center finds that:

  • 93% use YouTube

  • 63% use TikTok

  • 60% use Snapchat

  • 59% use Instagram

Facebook, once a favorite among teens, saw a significant decline in usage, with only 33% of teenagers reporting they use the platform. This is a stark contrast to 2015, when 71% of teens were active on Facebook.

Other platforms, like X and BeReal, did not fare well, with only 13% and 5% of teens reporting usage, respectively.

Social media usage also varied by gender and race:

  • Two-thirds of teen girls use Instagram, compared to 53% of boys.

  • Boys are more likely to use Discord and Twitch than girls.

  • Black teens are the most likely to use TikTok, followed by Hispanic and white teens.

While some platforms saw major fluctuations in popularity, others remained relatively unchanged. Snapchat, for example, maintained its user base from 2022 to 2023, while Tumblr's influence continues to decline, with Pew Research no longer even asking teens about its usage.

The survey polled almost 1,500 US teens.

TRIVIA: Which social media platform was the first to introduce the "like" button?

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Instagram • Another Option for Private Spaces

Instagram is developing a new feature called "Flipside" that lets users create a private space with a select group of friends.

This essentially gives users a built-in alternative to "finstas," the slang term for secondary Instagram accounts where people post their, shall we say, “less-curated” content.

The only screenshots we’ve seen so far have been through reverse engineering.

Here's what we know about Flipside so far:

  • Private Profile: Only friends you choose will be able to see your Flipside and the content you post there.

  • Separate Identity: You can create a unique profile picture, name, and bio for your Flipside, distinct from your public profile.

  • Easier Sharing: Instead of managing a separate account, you can swipe down on your profile to access it.

While Instagram hasn't confirmed a launch date, this shows that Meta has seen the writing on the wall — that public sharing is out, and private groups are in.

On the marketing side of this, it’s unlikely that additional Flipside accounts will swell our reporting. Even if someone views your campaign from their main and their secondary accounts, Meta has been reporting people as the single entity which contains all those additional personas.

YouTube • IAS and DoubleVerify Add Shorts

Ads placed around YouTube’s Shorts videos have gained a little more brand-safety. Both Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Double Verify have expanded their measurement options to the Shorts inventory.

Shorts has been YouTube’s fastest growing content format, increasing some 120% year over year, and now driving over 70 billion daily views.

As such, advertisers are keen to get in on the action, with YouTube now offering a range of Shorts ad options, which also help Shorts creators generate income from their creations.

But ensuring optimal placement for Shorts ads can challenging, due to limited placement options. As such, these new insights will help advertisers make smarter decisions about their Shorts ad spend.

The full announcement from IAS is here.

In Brief

Google Analytics 4 Changes

Google Analytics 4 is adding enhanced conversions, and they’re moving up the rollout of the Protected Audiences API. You might know this as its former name, FLEDGE. This is the tech that came under criticism in the last year, and lets ad tech platforms see what interest groups a visiting web user is likely in.

TikTok $10 Billion

TikTok has become the first mobile app that’s not a game to earn $10 billion of in-app spending. To put that in perspective, the top app is a game and it so far has made $12 billion.

Actually, it could be higher, given that these numbers don’t include the third-party Android app stores in China. The spending comes from people buying “coins” which they can use to buy digital gift stickers for creators, among other things.

X to Add Video to Spaces?

X, the platform formerly known as “brand-safe,” may be adding video to its live Spaces feature. Platform owner Elon Musk said they’ll have it up and running by the end of the year or early in the new year. Musk does have a habit of announcing things only to abandon them later, so “grain of salt” this one.

Amazon’s “Thank My Driver”

Starting today, Amazon customers can say “Alexa, thank my driver” into their app or smart speaker and the driver who completed the customer’s most-recent delivery will be given $5 — paid from Amazon’s bank account, not the customer’s.

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Oops • Zara Pulls Ads After Comparison to Gaza War

The fashion brand Zara has yanked an ad campaign after some people accused the company of exploiting the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The ad campaign showed a model standing in front of broken drywall, with mannequins parts strewn around and wrapped in white sheets that, to be fair, did look like body bags.

The company said it shot the campaign in September, a month before the attacks in Israel.

The British advertising regulator said it had received more than 100 complaints about the ad campaign.

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