The popularity of Facebook has less of an impact today

WhatsApp and Snapchat are equally popular with all young people, Instagram is the most fascinating for 14 to 17-year-olds. And: Compared to the previous year, the popularity of Netflix has more than doubled, that of Facebook more than halved.

Social media under the microscope: WhatsApp is at the forefront when it comes to communicative use of the Internet and its services. 95 percent of young people between the ages of twelve and 19 in Germany regularly exchange information about it - on average they receive 36 messages a day. In second place is Instagram (67 percent), followed by Snapchat with 54 percent regular users. Facebook (15 percent) is only used regularly by a few young people.

These are some of the results of the JIM (Youth, Information, Media) study 2018. For this purpose, 1,200 young people between the ages of twelve and 19 throughout Germany were interviewed by telephone from May to August 2018. The series of studies is published by the Media Education Research Association Southwest (mpfs).

The results

1. Media equipment

It is hardly surprising that young people today grow up in households with a wide range of media. 99 percent of those surveyed have a smartphone, 98 percent a computer / laptop and 98 percent also have Internet access. Wearables such as smartwatches or fitness wristbands as well as internet radios are available in a good every fifth family. Digital voice assistants such as Alexa can be used at home by 14 percent of 12 to 19 year olds.

Three out of four families can use content from a video streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime (2017: 54 percent), and two out of three households have the option of listening to music via a music streaming service such as Spotify. Older adolescents are more likely to have access to streaming services, with 18- to 19-year-olds dominating both video and music streaming (83 percent and 78 percent).

2. Favorite Internet offers

YouTube is named almost unrivaled by young people (70 percent) as their favorite website, followed by WhatsApp (27 percent), Netflix (20 percent), Instagram (17 percent), Google (12 percent) and Snapchat (nine percent). Girls also rely on YouTube (55 percent), WhatsApp (52 percent) and Instagram (45 percent). Snapchat (22 percent), Netflix (16 percent) and Google (13 percent) are much less spontaneous.

If you look at the information over age, YouTube is the only platform that loses its importance quite significantly (12 to 13 years: 71 percent, 18 to 19 years: 58 percent). WhatsApp and Snapchat are equally popular with all age groups, Instagram is more fascinating for 14 to 17 year olds (12 to 13 years: 29 percent, 14 to 15 years: 35 percent, 16 to 17 years: 33 percent, 18 to 19 years: 25 percent) and Netflix becomes more popular with age (twelve to 13 years: 12 percent, 14 to 15 years: 18 percent, 16 to 17 years: 19 percent, 18 to 19 years: 22 percent).

There are two significant changes compared to the previous year: The popularity of Netflix has more than doubled (2017: eight percent, 2018: 18 percent), that of Facebook more than halved when it was spontaneously mentioned (2017: 15 percent, 2018: six percent).

3. The most important apps

Also exciting: platforms for the use of moving images are clearly losing importance. Most of the young people use the internet on their smartphones.

WhatsApp is the most important offer on mobile phones and is mentioned by 87 percent of 12 to 19-year-olds, followed by Instagram (48 percent) by a large margin. When asked about the most important apps, YouTube comes in third and is only mentioned by 37 percent. It is followed by Snapchat (31 percent), far behind Spotify (ten percent), Facebook, Google (six percent each) and Netflix (five percent).

WhatsApp is equally important for girls and boys, Instagram and Snapchat are more important for girls, and YouTube also plays a bigger role for boys on smartphones.

4. Actual usage

What the favorite Internet offers are and what applications are actually used in everyday life are two different things. Here the results are as follows:

Five percent of 12 to 19 year olds use WhatsApp at least several times a week (daily: 82 percent) - WhatsApp users estimate that they receive 36 WhatsApp messages per day. Instagram has two thirds of regular users (daily: 51 percent), Snapchat 54 percent (daily: 46 percent) and Facebook is far behind in fourth place (15 percent, daily: eight percent). Twitter remains a niche platform and is used regularly by only eight percent of young people.