It’s no secret millennials and Gen Z (the next generational cohort, still awaiting its pithy marketing moniker) are heavy users of visually focused social media platforms including Instagram and Snapchat. And it turns out teenage girls are the real power users here, significantly outpacing male peers when it comes to joining the photo sharing and visual messaging service, according to a new survey of 1,100 teens ages 13-17, conducted by Google and YouGov.

Overall Instagram was the most popular social media platform, used by 59.6% of the Gen Z respondents, with Snapchat a close second at 56.4%. Facebook also ranked high with 52.8% adoption, followed by Google at 42.2%, Twitter at 35.4%, and Pinterest at 26.6%.


Usage stats broken down by gender reveal some big disparities, however. Snapchat showed a major split, with 66.7% of girls ages 13-17 using the visual messaging service, compared to just 46.6% of boys in this age range. Similarly, 67.9% of teen girls said they use Instagram, versus 51.9% of boys. Unsurprisingly Pinterest, generally viewed as a female-oriented network, saw the biggest divergence, with 45.4% of teen girls on board, but just 9% of boys.

Meanwhile, boys led on Facebook, although by a smaller margin, with 57.6% adoption by male Gen Zers, compared to 47.7% for females. Google+ was more evenly split, with 44% of teen boys and 40.3% of teen girls on board, and Twitter was nearly even, at 35.9% of boys and 34.9% of girls.

The latest data are roughly in line with the results of previous studies. Last September, I wrote about a survey of 804 U.S. teen Internet users, ages 13-17, conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft, which showed Snapchat adoption at 66%, Instagram at 65%, and Facebook at 61%. A bit further down the totem pole, 52% of teens said they use Kik Messenger, 43% use Skype, 40% Twitter, 31% Vine, and 24% Tumblr.

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Mike Johns is a pioneer in the field of mobile media and digital technology with more than fifteen years experience in consulting, content strategy & acquisitions, cross-platform engagement, business, and legal affairs. He has a proven track record of successfully spearheading content strategy and acquisitions for major corporations including T-Mobile, Nokia, Microsoft, Real Network, Fox and Newscorp. An industry go-to guy, Johns is a highly sought after consultant and speaker worldwide.