Even though it seems impossible not to post your best selfies on Instagram, it's actually Snapchat that is the preferred photo app among teens.

According to a survey conducted by the investment firm Piper Jaffray, it's Snapchat that is the most important social network in the lives of 14- to 19-year-olds.

The firm polled 6,350 teens in the United States, finding that 28 percent of them favored Snapchat, whereas 27 percent believed Instagram is the most important social media app they use.

While this is a really close call, over the past few years, you would have expected teens to vote hard for Insta. Just last fall, teens crowned Instagram as the most important social network to them with 33 percent, with only 19 percent of teens reporting Snapchat was. Seriously, who doesn't have an Instagram account?

Even though Instagram remains popular, it's Snapchat that has been stealing the spotlight as of late as more and more people start using the platform. The ephemeral messaging app currently has more than 100 million users, with more than 60 percent of users in the United States falling between the ages of 13 and 34.

There is no slowing down the popularity of Snapchat. It has become the must-use platform to share pointless videos of yourself lip-syncing in the car Kylie Jenner style, or snapping a photo with the dog filter and the ever-changing lenses that appear each day.

But what about Facebook? The survey found that Twitter actually beat out Facebook for the No. 3 spot with 18 percent. But this was also a close race since the largest social network came in fourth with 17 percent.

Last fall, it was Twitter that came in second with 20 percent. But Piper Jaffray expected Snapchat to pass Twitter this spring, it just didn't think it would also be more popular than Instagram.

It appears these apps fall into their own separate class, whereas Snapchat and Instagram are in a league of their own. Teens may see the photo- and video-sharing apps as a place to connect and share with their close circle of friends, whereas Facebook and Twitter are used to engage with a much larger audience. And if we are talking about Facebook, that means teens' parents.

Photo: Gordon | Flickr

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