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TikTok usage surpasses Instagram among youth ages 12 to 17

A popularity contest between TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat

The TikTok app logo.
The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo. Many people have embraced cooking during the pandemic, when they’ve been home, bored, looking to try something new.
Kiichiro Sato, Associated Press

TikTok has become the most popular app among young Americans — even more popular than Instagram, according to a survey by Forrester.

  • The survey found that 63% of Gen Z youth use TikTok on a daily basis, compared to the 57% who use Instagram, and 54% who use Snapchat.
  • Last year, Instagram was leading by 61% while TikTok was at 50%.

Recently, Instagram — which is owned by Facebook, now known as Meta — was criticized for its harmful effects, especially on young girls. Data showed that the app also increased the rate of anxiety and depression in teens, according to the Deseret News.

The Forrester survey, on the other hand, found that TikTok users experienced “positive self-expression” in regards to their ability to freely express themselves. The shorter videos format and the personalized feed create an entertainment value that Instagram lacks, users told Forrester.

  • “One of its strongest differentiators is its creator community. While TikTok’s features and functionality can be lifted by its competition, a sense of community is the secret sauce that can’t be simply copied and pasted into another social media platform, no matter how much money the competition ‘incentivizes’ creators with,” said Mike Proulx, an analyst at Forrester in a CNBC report.

However, the survey states that TikTok is not the top social media app among Gen Z. It’s actually YouTube, with a 72% weekly usage, previously up from 69% last year.