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How The Top Social Platforms Performed In 2018

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

As 2018 comes to a close, we’re looking back at how the top social platforms resonated with each generation and gender in a year-in-review infographic snapshot:

In 2018, top social networks broke boundaries with new features, embraced young consumer trends, and experienced backlash when they failed to prioritize users’ best interests. From Facebook expanding to take on dating and gaming, to Instagram introducing IGTV, and to Snapchat rolling out group video chats, the features just kept coming—though some were more successful than others. Platforms also took on young consumer trends, going live with in-the-moment streaming features, becoming more shoppable, catering to the Post-TV gen, and helping young users digitally detox. But not all the headlines social platforms made this year were optimistic. Earlier in the year, a Snapchat redesign received a less-than-positive response—and that’s putting it lightly. Coupled with their less-than-successful launch of Spectacles, Snap’s stock hit a record low. And it didn’t help that Instagram copying Snapchat stories “was the best decision [they] ever made” and “arguably the fastest-growing media format ever.” And the drama doesn’t stop at Snapchat: Facebook is learning the hard way that privacy is imperative, Twitter is navigating the tricky landscape of censorship, and YouTube’s advertisers aren’t happy.

Throughout all this year’s ups and downs, we’ve been monitoring young social users and looking into how their behaviors are affected by the ups and downs of their favorite platforms. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Twitter are the most popular social platforms young social media users are currently on, falling in that order for 13-36-year-olds overall. However, drilling down to generation and gender tells a different story. YouTube is (and has been) the most popular social platform among 13-17-year-old males throughout 2018, with only Instagram even coming close. Among 13-17-year-old females, Instagram is the most-used, and although Snapchat was a neck-and-neck competitor throughout 2018, the platform just experienced a sharp decline. Facebook tops the list for both Millennial males and females, remaining mostly steady throughout the year. However, the use of YouTube is slowly catching up to Facebook among Millennial males, as is Instagram for Millennial females. Take a closer look at our year-in-review social media infographic below for more 2018 takeaways:


To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.