The Shifting Of Power: Tiktok And Snapchat Preferred Over Instagram Amongst Teens

Teen Social Media Favorites
Instagram. Snapchat. And now Tiktok. While all of these apps are forms of social media, they’re not all used the same. They also have differing levels of popularity.

In this article, we’ll shift to Tiktok and Snapchat for teens and why these social media platforms are becoming more popular than Instagram.There are many ways that you can help your teen, and awareness of what’s prominent in their lives is one of them.

TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram: The Pros and Cons of These Apps

Each platform has its pros and cons. Here’s a brief summary of all three apps’ advantages and disadvantages of these apps.


Instagram is a social media app that previously used to be very popular amongst teens. Instagram is a platform where teens can share their pictures and create stories and/or reels (longer video clips) for their followers. In a study done on social media platforms and teens, teens considered Instagram as the least popular with only 25% of teens saying that they use it often.
The advantages of Instagram:

  • Instagram is not always about sharing flawless pictures that have been edited. Some teens and young adults have been trying to undermine the idea that only the best pictures should be shared by creating Instagram profiles that are examples of Finsta. Finsta is a “fake” Instagram where teens and young adults share more authentic and less edited pictures.
  • Instagrammers have been more proactive in things like the body positivity movement and anti-bullying. Some of the most viral content are those celebrating diverse bodies and skin tones.

The disadvantages of Instagram:

  • There is still an extreme emphasis on flawless and heavily edited pictures on this platform. This has led to teens and young adults having issues with their appearance and wanting to change it because it’s “not good enough.”
  • There’s still a heavy emphasis on the number of followers a person has since the whole platform is geared toward that. Your teen might be working hard to get that blue checkmark of approval on their profit. As was mentioned in a previous article, this teaches your teen to seek external validation over self-validation.
  • Exposure to content that is age-inappropriate.


TikTok takes second place in being the most popular form of social media amongst teens. According to the study mentioned previously, 29% of teens report TikTok as the most popular app.

As with Instagram, TikTok has its good and bad sides.

The advantages of TikTok:

  • TikTok has many movements like anti-bullying and movements supporting the rights of LBTQ people.
  • TikTok is used by teens as a form of expression. Dance skits, comedy routines, and other healthy forms of expression help teens find their niche.

The disadvantages of TikTok:

  • TikTok exposes teens to potential predators since these videos aren’t seen only by their teens.
  • TikTok can encourage cyberbullying.
  • TikTok, as with Instagram, teaches teens to seek external validation based on the amount of followers and likes they receive.


Snapchat is the most popular amongst teenagers with 34% of teens using it. Snapchat allows teens to send images that are various after a few seconds and stories that vanish after 24 hours.

The advantages of Snapchat:

  • Images that are taken and sent as snaps disappear after a few seconds so nothing is permanent.
  • Teens have more ability to limit who they share with and what content they share.
  • Teens can connect with their peers.

The disadvantages of Snapchat:

  • Teens often use this app for sexting since the images that are sent disappear. The problem with this though is that these images can be screenshotted and shared with others.
  • Teen use this app for cyberbullying since it has greater privacy enabled in it, there are less chances of being caught for bullying their peers.

Fostering Your Awareness and Helping Your Teen

The best way that you can help your teen navigate the use of these apps is by knowing for yourself how these apps work and how they’re being used by teens. Social media doesn’t have to be the silent monster under the bed; it should be something that you’re actively talking to your teen about and something you’re learning more about for yourself.

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