Snapchat is ‘fastest growing’ asset in social media: Market expert
Evercore ISI senior managing director Mark Mahaney says social media platform Snapchat has the fastest growing user base.
China has been cracking down on social media and gaming usage among kids, as teens in other countries spend more time online.
Douyin, an app popularly known as the "Chinese TikTok," has faced criticism for presenting distressful material to a large audience of minors. In April of 2021, however, the video-sharing app added a "youth mode" feature to restrict youth access to the app and its content, according to Nikkei Asia.
"Youth mode" allows users under 18 to watch videos for no more than 40 minutes at a time, and young users cannot access the app between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the outlet reported.
The content that young users watch on the app is also screened by Douyin content reviewers.
More recently, in late August, China implemented new rules for young gamers in the country. Online game providers can now only allow young users to play games for an hour between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on official holidays, state-run media outlet Xinhua News reported.
Chinese authorities have reportedly argued that "youth mode" features do not go far enough and have been cracking down on companies to make it more difficult for young users to bypass these time-limit features, according to the South China Morning Post.
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Mobile users in China ranked No. 1 for time spent on mobile apps in the first quarter of 2021, followed by India, Brazil and the United States, data from app analytics website App Annie shows.
U.S. teens spent significantly more time on their phones and online gaming when the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to stay home from school – in some cases for an entire year or more – and away from friends, as reported earlier this year.
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In addition to reliance on social media and gaming, reports show that teens may be suffering from mental health issues as a result of what they see on social apps.
For example, researchers tapped by Facebook, which owns Instagram, to examine the app's impact on young users' mental health over the past three years found that 32% of teen girls who "felt bad about their bodies" said Instagram made the issue worse, according to a Monday report from The Wall Street Journal.