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A newly released look at the social media platforms most widely used in the UK has found a fairly predictable list of top sites. More of a surprise was that millennials were using several of them at a lower rate than their Gen Z counterparts.
According to research conducted in September by Ipsos MORI for BBC Newsbeat, Facebook was the most used social media platform among UK internet users ages 16 to 71 overall, with 71% saying they accessed that platform. YouTube ranked second at 52%—the only other platform to appeal to more than half of all respondents.
A closer look shows considerable variation in usage for some platforms by age group. YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat were noticeably more popular among the youngest group—those ages 16 to 22. But just a slight majority of respondents ages 23 to 37 were YouTube users. Meanwhile, very small percentages of people 38 and older used either Snapchat or Instagram.
Despite a reputation for high levels of social media use, millennials (by this study’s definition, 23- to 37-year-olds) used only a handful of services at higher rates than the 16-to-22-year-old cohort. That list included only Facebook (80% vs. 75%), Pinterest (20% vs. 16%) and LinkedIn (20% vs. 8%).
The study didn’t set a threshold for what qualified as use, but May 2017 research by Hitwise, which ranked social media platforms by share of visits from UK internet users, found several sites absent from Ipsos’ list.
Hitwise’s research found the likes of reddit and Mumsnet, a parents-focused site, were among the UK’s top 10. Meanwhile, Snapchat and gamer-focused video platform Twitch were missing, but their absence could be due to differences in the methodology used by Hitwise.
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