Lower-Income Teens Rely on Facebook More Than Wealthier Peers

August 16, 2018

By Amanda Weston

Teens whose families earn $30,000 or less a year are more likely to rely on Facebook than their wealthier peers. A Pew Research Center survey reported 70 percent of teens in lower-income households still use the platform, compared with only 36 percent of teens in the $75,000 and up bracket.

"A lot of them have to do with resilience and how teens use Facebook to kind of get ahead," said Hanna Kozlowska, a reporter at Quartz. "So they use it for networking for example, because they might not have as much resources as wealthier teens."

About half of all teenagers use Facebook, but Kozlowska said that lower-income students who may not have as much access to resources turn to the social platform to get in touch with teachers, ask for homework help, and create a support network. Their older relatives are also more likely to be on the platform.

The teens who are still on Facebook may not want to spend as much time there as they do, said Kozlowska, and their numbers could dwindle if the adults they usually connect with age or abandon social media.

"Facebook isn't actively doing anything to kind of help them, to elevate them," Kozlowska said, and that the company didn't respond specifically to the Pew study. "They said, 'Oh, yeah, this is just an example of how an ad-based free network is good' right? They didn't particularly elaborate on that," she said.

Facebook had the biggest differences between three income brackets. Instagram and YouTube were the most consistent.

For full interview, click here.