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Twitter More Popular Than Facebook Among US Teens

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A new survey shows that Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the most popular social network among American teens.

American teens have "updated their status" (changed their preference) when it comes to social media, and Facebook might not "hit the 'like' button".

A study by the financial firm Piper Jaffray found that 26 percent of U.S. teens surveyed last month chose Twitter as their most important social network. Only 23 percent of American teens chose social media giant Facebook, down 10 percentage points from earlier this year.

The news comes about a week after Twitter unveiled plans for a $1 billion initial public offering. The filing shows the company is experiencing decent growth - with 218 million active users and a revenue of $316 million last year.

But Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster says Facebook still has a reason to smile, for the camera that is. He says Facebook's acquisition of the photo and video sharing outlet Instagram continues to look like a smart purchase.

"Instagram picked up a lot of [the] share. Probably the best way to think about Facebook is to look at Instagram and Facebook in aggregate," said Munster.

Instagram jumped seven points to tie Facebook in popularity among American teens.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram remain well ahead of other social media used by teens. Less than 10 percent chose either Tumblr, Google+ or Pinterest as their most important social network.

Piper Jaffray senior analyst Steph Wissink said the data could predict a global transition.

“Our survey is really domestically focused, but I think there's been a very high correlation between what we've seen internationally and what we've seen domestically, with somewhat of a lag," said Wissink.

The company's survey covered teen tastes from technology to clothing. In addition to the social media change, the survey found that iPhone ownership among teens exceeded 50 percent for the first time ever, jumping from 48 percent of the market in April to 55 percent in September.
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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.