According to a recent survey by media regulator Ofcom, the popularity of social media apps TikTok and Snapchat has increased among British children over the past year.
Ofcom’s annual study of children's and parents’ online attitudes found that 53% of children between 3 and 17 years old now use TikTok, up from 50% in the previous year. The survey also showed that 46% of children use Snapchat, up from 42% in 2021.
While the usage of other social media platforms such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram remained steady, the popularity of Meta's Facebook platform declined from 40% to 34%.
Additionally, the survey found that the proportion of 3- and 4-year-olds using Snapchat had risen to 17% in 2022, up from 12% the previous year.
Both TikTok and Snapchat have faced increasing pressure over user safety in recent months. Governments around the world have banned TikTok from official devices, citing concerns over its relationship with the Chinese state, while Snapchat has faced criticism for not doing enough to remove underage users from its platform.
In response, a TikTok spokesperson said that government bans were based on “fundamental misconceptions” around the app’s safety protocols.
Meanwhile, a Snap spokesperson said that criticism of its record on underage users misrepresented its efforts, as it blocks and deletes tens of thousands of attempts by underage UK users to create Snapchat accounts every month.