Study: Teens Who Are Social Online Are Social in Life, But Don’t Like Television, Foursquare

A new study by reveals that teen influencers, defined as the most active users on their site, consume mass quantities of social media while they eschew traditional entertainment like TV.

teen survey


Last week’s YPulse Youth Marketing Mashup, held in San Francisco, featured panels where brands like Flip Video and vitaminwater revealed their social marketing strategies, as well as interesting facts to the youth-ignorant: Did you know the generation born after 2001 is named the “Homeland Generation?” But one of the most interesting sessions was a report from, which, according to comScore is the #1 site for teens, and the fastest-growing social network in the U.S., with visits up 79% in the last six months. Their recent Teen Influencer Study, created in partnership with Ketchum, surveyed over 10,000 teens aged 13-19 who were the most active social networkers on The results may challenge what you think you know about teens.

Friends are friends
Teens who are more social online are more social offline. No more envisioning the ultraconnected teen sitting home to iChat on a Saturday night. The more friends a teen has online, the more likely they are to socialize and go to parties in real life.

The social media diet is heavy
97% spend over two hours a day on social media sites
95% update their status at least once a day
88% send more than 3,000 texts a month (and we wonder who pays for those?)


No check-ins, please
The survey confirms something we’ve been hearing for some time: Teens don’t like location-based apps. Only 16% of influencers report using a mobile application like Foursquare or Gowalla.

Don’t friend them (until they’re 18)
56% of teens 13-14 years old were wary of their parents friending them on social networks, but by the time they were 18, only 27% cared.

TV isn’t must-see
Television is out. Half of teen influencers spend three or more hours online while only a quarter spend the same amount of time watching television. Although the survey didn’t specify if those teens were watching TV content on their computers.


Multitasking is king
When they are watching television, they’re likely also using their phone or computer as well. Of teen social media influencers, 88% are texting and 79% are online while watching television

Here’s a no-brainer but marketers should heed the message: Teens are more likely to click, read, or pass along humorous or shocking content, especially if it involves a celebrity.

[Teen Influencer Survey]




About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato


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