How young people use social media: Youth Internet Monitor 2018

  • Awareness
  • 18/04/2018
  • Austrian Safer Internet Centre

Saferinternet.at, part of the Austrian Safer Internet Centre (SIC), presents new data on how young people from Austria use social media.

On the occasion of the Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018, Saferinternet.at published the results of the third Youth Internet Monitor: an inquiry into how young people in Austria use social platforms. Its goal is to keep track of young people's favourite social media platforms and to identify current trends and possible issues at stake.

The representative survey, Youth Internet Monitor 2018, was conducted by the Institute for Youth Culture Research from November to December 2017 (n=400, 11-17 years). The infographic below presents the key findings.

youth net monitor

WhatsApp and YouTube remain on top
The social platforms used most by Austrian young people are WhatsApp (85 per cent) and YouTube (81 per cent). 63 per cent of 11-17 year olds use Instagram, closely followed by Snapchat (59 per cent). Facebook, the biggest network worldwide, is in the top five for this age group, as it was in the 2017 edition of the survey.

Skype as a platform for computer gamers
One platform was added to the study this year: Skype, which is ranked sixth. The importance of this platform is mostly related to computer games where games are played independent of a multiplayer modus, with a video conference in parallel.

Decrease in the use of Musical.ly, but Tellonym is a newly added platform
The music video network Musical.ly (2017: 26 per cent, 2018: 17 per cent), which was newly added to the survey just last year has already lost 9 per cent of its users. This year, it was used predominantly among younger girls, aged 11 to 14 years (22 per cent).

Another platform which was newly included in the survey this year besides Skype was Tellonym (12 per cent). This platform allows users to give anonymous feedback to others. It is also used for cyberbullying (cyber mobbing): besides friendly feedback and questions, insulting and violent content is common.

The Youth Internet Monitor 2018 has shown that the biggest players among the social platforms have lost in usage, which is more distributed among smaller networks. Telegram – a newly surveyed alternative to WhatsApp – is in the top ten: the platform is used by 12 per cent of Austrian young people, rising to 18 per cent among boys. Houseparty, a newly-surveyed platform for group videocalls climbed to the top 11 (10 per cent). The advantages of this platform are closed digital spaces for easy video conferencing with friends via a smartphone.

Do girls and boys use the same social networks?
The Youth Internet Monitor 2018 shows some gender differences. WhatsApp (girls 89 per cent/boys 81 per cent), YouTube (girls 85 per cent/boys 77 per cent), Instagram (girls 74 per cent/boys 53 per cent) and Snapchat (girls 73 per cent/boys 45 per cent) are currently more popular among girls than boys.

In contrast to that are Skype (girls 25 per cent/boys 34 per cent), Telegram (girls 5 per cent/boys 18 per cent) and Twitch, the video platform for computer games (girls 2 per cent/boys 15 per cent), which are used more extensively by boys.

The most relevant platforms for young people
The Youth Internet Monitor 2018 has also asked about the relevance young people ascribe to the platforms they use. This question leads to changes in the ranking – the six favourites ("very important") are: WhatsApp (78 per cent), Telegram (66 per cent), YouTube (53 per cent), Facebook (47 per cent), Instagram (45 per cent), and Snapchat (44 per cent).

Thereby, one sees that WhatsApp (2017: 77 per cent) is not only the most used platform for young people, but also the most relevant one. YouTube has gained 8 per cent compared to last year (2017: 45 per cent), the newly-surveyed platform Telegram is already ranked second, Facebook (2017: 21 per cent) records a growth of 26 per cent, and Instagram (2017: 34 per cent) increased by 11 per cent.

For more information and data (in German), see www.jugendinternetmonitor.at.

Find out more about the work of the Austrian Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.


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