Bonn The dominance of social media companies from the USA among young people in Germany is being shaken by the rise of the Chinese short video portal Tiktok. This is the result of the representative youth digital study by Postbank, which was published on Thursday in Bonn.
Facebook Instagram and Google Alphabet’s YouTube are still the most used platforms among young people, while Facebook’s Meta and WhatsApp are still the most used platforms among young people. More than three quarters of 16 to 18-year-olds use them regularly. Tiktok is catching up fast, however, because the Chinese service is growing faster than YouTube & Co.
According to the study, 63 percent of young people on Tiktok now regularly watch videos or upload clips themselves. At the beginning of 2020, only a quarter of young people used the platform. For girls (70 percent), the service from the Chinese bytedance group is more popular than for boys (56 percent).
However, the study also shows that the steep growth curve at Tiktok is slowly flattening: from 2020 to 2021, the number of users grew from 27 to 58 percent of all young people in Germany. Last year, Tiktok gained only five percentage points. However, the Beijing-based service is still two percentage points ahead of YouTube’s growth. Instagram has stagnated and WhatsApp has even lost users.
In addition to Tiktok, platforms from the second row, which are unknown to many adults, also benefit from the weakness of the social media pioneers among young people: Discord was able to increase by six percentage points from 29 to 35 percent. The live streaming video portal Twitch, which also serves as a chat platform, increased slightly by one percentage point to 24 percent.
Facebook: The big loser
Last year’s winners also include the Twitter network, which has long been established among adults. It increased by six points from 17 to 23 percent among young people like Discord. Pinterest went from 23% to 28%.
The biggest loser among young people in Germany is Facebook. The former giant of the social media industry has completely lost touch here and is only in 10th place of the most used networks. This puts Facebook only four percentage points ahead of Telegram among young people.
The use of the platform is also declining: it fell from 17 to 15 percent of respondents. The few remaining ones are also using them less and less to give others an insight into their lives. The proportion of users who disclose personal information there fell from 47 to 38 percent.