Where would young social media users go if TikTok got banned?

If TikTok got banned, 50% of young Europeans and 37% of young North Americans would turn to Instagram. — AFP Relaxnews

If TikTok got shut down, which social network would young people turn to? According to one study, Instagram and YouTube could benefit from a possible ban on TikTok in Europe and North America. Half of young Europeans would head to Instagram, for example.

For some time now, rumors of a possible TikTok ban have been growing increasingly persistent. But if TikTok got shut down, which social networks would young internet users turn to instead? According to a recent survey* by YPulse, Instagram and YouTube would be the big winners.

If TikTok got banned, 50% of young Europeans and 37% of young North Americans would turn to Instagram. And with good reason: the social network is already very popular with young people. Around a third of 13-39 year-olds in Europe and 29% in North America already use Instagram Reels. What's more, the app is seen as a comprehensive social network, offering both the ability to post stories, watch reels and follow celebrities.

In Europe, 18-24 year-olds would be the most numerous (53%) to choose the Meta group's platform, followed by 25-39 year-olds (50%) and then 13-17 year-olds (46%).

In North America, the distribution is more evenly balanced: 45% of 18-24 year-olds would choose Instagram, but 13-17 year-olds are not far behind at 40%. Older users (25-39) would be the least inclined to switch to Instagram (31%).

But Instagram wouldn't be the only social network to benefit from a potential TikTok ban. YouTube would also be a popular choice with young people, with 23% of 13-39 year-olds in Europe and 24% in North America saying they would turn to the platform in the event of TikTok's demise. The study points out that 22% of young Europeans and 29% of young Americans on the video platform already use YouTube Shorts.

In the US, 25-39 year-olds are the most likely (26%) to choose the video platform, followed by 18-24 year-olds (24%) and 13-17 year-olds (19%).

It's worth noting that older users would prefer Facebook (24%) to Snapchat (7%) if the Chinese application was banned in North America. The opposite is true of younger users (13-17), who would prefer Snapchat (18%) to Facebook (16%).

According to the latest data from YPulse's report on social media behavior, 72% of 13-17 year-olds, 71% of 18-24 year-olds and 45% of 25-39 year-olds in North America are currently using TikTok. As for Western Europe, almost the same number of teens and young adults use the app, with the highest usage rate among 13-39 year-olds in Spain at 69%, the study points out. – AFP Relaxnews

*Source: YPulse Social Media Behavior Survey | Base: TikTok users, n=1777 in Western Europe and n=968 in North America | March 26 - April 5, 2024 in Western Europe and North America | National representative sample of 2,500 young people aged 13 to 39 in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, and 1,500 young people in the USA and Canada.

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