Instagram inches ahead of Snapchat in popularity among teens: Piper Jaffray

  • Piper Jaffray found 85 percent of teens use Instagram at least once a month, just ahead of long-time leader Snapchat at 84 percent.
  • Instagram's appeal to marketers is also growing, Piper Jaffray found.
  • Amazon ranked by far as teens' favorite website, according to the survey.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook, holds his phone after the morning session at the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 13, 2018. 
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook, holds his phone after the morning session at the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 13, 2018. 

Instagram passed Snapchat as the most-used social platform by teenagers in Piper Jaffray's fall 2018 survey, released Monday.

Piper Jaffray found 85 percent of teens surveyed use the Facebook-owned social media platform at least once a month, just beating out long-time leader Snapchat at 84 percent. The loss of Snapchat's edge comes at parent company Snap shares hit an all time low of $6.46 a share on Oct. 11, a drop of more than 60 percent from the company's IPO price of $17 a share last year.

Social media monthly teenage user results

While Instagram is climbing, Facebook's engagement among teens is getting crushed. Only 28 percent of 15-year-olds used Facebook in Fall 2018, down from more than 40 percent two years ago.

Instagram's appeal to marketers is also growing, Piper Jaffray found.

"Instagram continues to show dominance in selling, as teens overwhelmingly prefer brands contact them on Instagram vs other channels," Piper Jaffray analysts said in a note.

Preferred social media brand engagement among teenagers

Instagram solidified its lead, with nearly 70 percent of teens saying they prefer brands contacting them about new products through Instagram. Snapchat moved to second place for preferred brand engagement ahead of email, both just over 40 percent.

This was the 36th bi-annual survey by Piper Jaffary, which polled about 8,600 teenagers across the U.S. with an average age of 16.

Amazon ranked by far as teens' favorite website. "Prime adoption continues to be very strong" among teens as well, Piper Jaffray said, referring to Amazon's premium subscription service.

At 47 percent, Amazon was the most preferred shopping website, with Nike coming in at second at 5 percent.

Netflix was number one in streaming, according to the survey. Teens spend 38 percent of their time each day watching Netflix, "well ahead" of YouTube at 33 percent, Piper Jaffray said.

Apple grew its share of the wristwatch market among teens to 17 percent, with the Apple Watch ranking as teenagers' second most popular watch.

Nike held its ground as the number one retail brand among teenagers, but Piper Jaffray said this survey saw a "staggering gain from Vans" and a "rebalancing towards Adidas." Lululemon also "picked up meaningfully" as in the second spot behind Nike for female teens, Piper Jaffray said.

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