A trend study in the stratification of social media use among urban youth: Chile 2009-2019
Keywords:social media, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Chile, trend study, digital inequality, representative survey
This trend study describes changes and continuities in the stratification of usage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp in Chile between 2009-2019—the decade that witnessed the rise of social media. Using the Youth, Media and Participation Study—a probabilistic survey conducted on an annual basis among 1,000 individuals aged 18 to 29 living in the three largest urban areas in Chile (N = 10,518)—we analyze how frequency of use and type of activities conducted on social media has varied over time along socioeconomic status, gender, and age cohort. Instead of a uniform trend towards less (or greater) inequality, the results show that each platform exhibits a unique dynamic. For instance, whereas SES-based inequality in frequency of use has decreased on Facebook over time, it has remained stable on WhatsApp and increased on Twitter and Instagram. In addition, significant differences in the likelihood of conducting different activities (e.g., chatting, commenting news, sharing links) remained across groups, even on platforms such as Facebook where frequency of use has equalized over time.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Teresa Correa, Sebastián Valenzuela
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