Facebook has emerged as the go-to social media platform for university students who wish to stay connected with friends. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Monash University Malaysia and University of Malaya (UM), coming in at a close second was WhatsApp followed by Instagram, the New Straits Times (NST) reported.

The survey, the first of its kind on the popularity of social media and Snapchat use among students from both public and private universities in the country, covered 422 respondents.

The respondents, spread across various disciplines and across campuses, revealed that Facebook was the most sought after social media platform at 38%, with WhatsApp registering 35pc in popularity and Instagram, 12pc

When asked how often they used social media, 90% of respondents said it was to stay connected with friends "often" or "most of the time" with 83% saying they used social media to keep abreast of news "often" or "most of the time". 

WhatsApp however emerged as the most trusted with regard to privacy, with 34% of survey respondents stating they believed WhatsApp best protected their privacy compared to other social media platforms.

Most respondents said they used WhatsApp to organise activities with friends (74pc) and family (72pc).

Meanwhile, 32pc of students surveyed used Snapchat, which automatically deletes images and messages after they have been viewed. Of this percentage, 58pc were private university students and 5pc public university students.

It was reported that 24pc of Snapchat users in the survey posted about food, as often as five times a day.

The survey was conducted from February to March this year and was led by Dr Julian Hopkins from the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia and Dr Ruth LT Ong from UM's Faculty of Languages & Linguistics.

It was funded by Global Asia in the 21st Century (GA21), a Monash Malaysia research priority area, the NST reported.