New Pew Data: Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

According to new research data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens share a wide range of information about themselves on social media sites. However, few teens embrace a fully public approach to social media.

Key findings from the new Teens, Social Media and Data privacy report based on a survey of 802 teens that examines teens’ privacy management on social media sites:

  • Teens share more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in the past.
  • Teen Twitter use has grown significantly: 24 percent of online teens use Twitter, up from 16 percent in 2011.
  • The median teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers.
  • Teens have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, disliking the increasing adult presence and people sharing excessively, but they use it because participation is an important part of socializing.
  • 60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private, and most report high levels of confidence in their ability to manage their settings.
  • Teens take steps to shape their reputation, manage their networks, and mask information they don’t want others to know.
  • Teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-party access to their data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned.
  • In broad measures of online experience, teens are considerably more likely to report positive experiences than negative ones. For instance, 52% of online teens say they have had an experience online that made them feel good about themselves.

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