Tech Instagram is gaining on Snapchat in one critical area: teenagers (FB, SNAP)

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Right now, Snapchat and Instagram are about tied, according to Piper Jaffray's "Teens Survey," which questions thousands of American kids across 40 states.

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(Getty)
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  • Virtually the same percentage of American teenagers use Snapchat and Instagram.
  • But teenagers deeply prefer Snapchat, with 45% of teens surveyed calling it their favorite social network.

Snapchat and Instagram are in a battle for the homescreen of young consumers, with the two platforms looking more similar by the week.

Right now, they're just about tied, according to Piper Jaffray's "Teens Survey," which questions thousands of American kids across 40 states with an average age of 16.

Turns out, virtually the same percentage of teens open Snapchat and Instagram once a month. Snapchat has a slight advantage with 83% of teens opening the app monthly, whereas 82% of teens are monthly active Instagram users.

However, the teens surveyed deeply prefer Snapchat to Instagram. 45% say that Snapchat is their favorite social platform, blowing away Facebook-owned Instagram, with 26%.

Ultimately, to advertisers, it might not matter. The analysts write that Instagram has largely the same user base as Snapchat, but it has better tools for advertisers.

Facebook is pretty unpopular in American high schools, but there's a silver lining. Piper analysts write that "current 18 year olds who adopted Facebook when they were 13 are not abandoning Facebook."

Only 9% of teens say Twitter is their favorite, but it's resurgent in the most recent survey — 53% percent of teens use it once a month, up from 50% last fall.

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(Piper Jaffray)