This is interesting from Ofcom, though not entirely surprising:
Almost all children aged 3 to 17 (96%) watch videos on video-sharing sites and apps. More than half of all youngsters view live-streamed video content (58%), which increases to 80% among 16-17-year-olds.
YouTube remains the most popular site or app, used by nearly nine in ten 3–17-year-olds (88%), although short-form video apps TikTok (50% to 53%) and Snapchat (42% to 46%) saw significant increases in use over the last year.
Other findings include:
- The rise of ‘split-screening’: This trend for watching two social media videos on the same screen at once appears to be a progression of the ‘multi-screening’ behaviours seen in previous research waves, where children reported difficulties focusing on one screen-based activity at a time.
- More careful, less creative: Youngsters appear to be more socially self-conscious, posting much fewer videos (32%) than they watch (96%). Among those that do post, it was often rarely, to limited circles, while others created content as ‘drafts, with no intention of posting publicly. Social interaction between friends online is also now primarily confined to chat or messaging apps, rather than on public feeds.
- Screen time balance: Just over half of social media users aged 16-24 (51%) thought they spent too much time on social media – up from 42% in 2021, and significantly higher than average (32%). But they are also more likely to take social media break to manage wellbeing (36% vs. 25% average) or delete apps to avoid spending too much time on them (32% vs. 23% average).