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YouTube user growth outpaces social media rivals: poll

YouTube user growth outpaces social media rivals: poll

YouTube’s popularity since 2019 has increased more than other social media sites, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Eighty-one percent of respondents said they use the Google-owned video-sharing site, up from the 73 percent who said the same in 2019.

The video platform also remained the most used social media site among U.S. adults, followed by Facebook at 69 percent, Pew found in its survey results that were released Wednesday.

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But unlike YouTube, Facebook has seen little change in user popularity over the last five years, according to the poll.

The only other site to see a significant increase in use since 2019 was Reddit, which increased to 18 percent from 11 percent.

The poll also found stark differences in use of some platforms based on age. The differences by age were particularly striking for Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

The poll found that just 2 percent of Americans age 65 or older use Snapchat, but 65 percent of adults under the age of 30 said they use the app.

Similarly, just 4 percent of the oldest cohort said they use TikTok, while 48 percent of adults age 18 to 29 said the same about the short-form video sharing app. This is the first year Pew has asked respondents about using TikTok. 

The age gap was less apparent with Facebook: 70 percent of adults under 30 said they use the platform and the 50 percent of adults 65 and up said the same.

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Although top social media platforms have come under increased scrutiny from lawmakers and advocates, the platforms remain broadly popular.

Not only is Facebook among the top two most used platforms, it is also frequented often by its users, according to the poll. Seven in 10 Facebook users said they visit the site daily, and the majority of Facebook-owned Instagram users as well as Snapchat users said the same.

Fifty-four percent of YouTube users also said they visited the site daily, as did 46 percent of Twitter users.

In terms of overall use, Twitter ranks lower than the other platforms, with 23 percent of respondents saying they never use the platform. That figure has remained fairly stable in the last few years.

The report is based on interviews conducted Jan. 25 to Feb. 8 among 1,502 adults. The margin of error for the total sample size is 2.9 percentage points.