A new survey reveals that Facebook is still the most preferred social networking site among teenagers, discrediting past theories that it is losing its appeal among the said age group. According to findings at the Pew Research Center, 71 percent of all teens are using Facebook and 41 percent of them use Facebook most compared to using other sites.

The study also reveals that, after Facebook, the second most popular social networking site is Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. At least 52 percent of all teens are using the site.

Other popular social media sites include Snapchat (41 percent), Twitter and Google Plus (tied at 33 percent, Vine (24 percent) and Tumblr (14 percent).

It was found that the popularity of social media sites among teenagers resulted from an increased access to smartphones. Almost three-quarters of the teens that were surveyed had access to a smartphone, while 24 percent admitted that their online activities are performed regularly.

"American teens, especially African-American youth, have embraced smartphones and the 24/7 access to people and information that they offer," says Amanda Lenhart, the research's lead author and the associate director for Research at the Pew Research Center.

The research also indicates U.S. teens' social media presence according to gender differences. Boys use Facebook more often than girls (45 percent of boys vs. 36 percent of girls), while girls use Instagram more heavily than boys (23 percent of girls against 17 percent of boys).

Girls also dominate visually-oriented social media sites such as Instagram (girls at 61 percent and boys at 44 percent), Snapchat (girls at 51 percent and boys at 31 percent), Pinterest (girls at 33 percent and boys at 11 percent), and Tumblr (girls at 23 percent and boys at 5 percent).

Among older teens, it was learned that their most used platforms include Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Younger teens are more drawn towards Instagram.

The study also revealed how a teen's socio-economic status influences his or her social media activity. Wealthier teens who come from middle and upper income families lean more heavily on Snapchat as compared with those who come from families in the lower income group. After Snapchat, Twitter is also popular among teens from wealthier families. Lastly, teens who come from families belonging to the lower income bracket tend to lean more on Facebook.

The Pew Research Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group. The results were gathered by collecting data from a "nationally representative" sample of more than 1,060 teens. 

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