No surprise here: nearly three-quarters of the American adult population claim to use at least one online social network of some kind, according to a new Pew Research Center report released Monday. While about 73 percent are active in at least one social network, 42 percent say they are social media multitaskers using more than one at a time.
And of the social networks frequented by adults, Facebook is the still the most dominant, according to Pew. A whopping 71 percent of all adult Americans – remember, 73 percent claim to use at lease one social network – are Facebook users, up from 67 percent in 2012. Just think of that time your mom and aunt had that annoying discussion in the comment section of a picture you posted and this will become disgustingly obvious. Facebook was created as a place for young adults to connect, but it’s becoming more of a place where old people go to share dumb recipes and embarrass their children. The data backs it, too – 45 percent of people 65 and older now use Facebook, up 10 percent from the year before. Even the leaders of the future (read: youth) believe it’s “dead and buried.” They, of course, weren’t taken into account for the study that questioned people ages 18 and up. If users of all ages were taken into account, it’s likely it’d be a very different story.
What might be the most surprising finding in Pew’s study is that while Facebook may have amassed the largest userbase, it’s quickly losing its lead of the amount of daily visits it gets. More people – 63 percent of users – still visit Facebook on a daily basis than any other social network, but Instagram is not far behind with 57 percent looking at their picture feed once a day, and 35 percent doing so more than once a day. About 47 percent of Twitter users visit the platform once a day.
Pinterest, which is mostly dominated by a female demographic, has now surpassed Twitter for percentage of adult users, up from 16 percent las year to 21 percent now. It ranks third behind Facebook and LinkedIn, which lots of old people sign up for, but rarely ever look at. Twitter is now barely the fourth most popular social network for adults with 18 percent using it, with Instagram inching up on it at 17 percent. Older people are more out of touch with Twitter.
Pew’s study, while insightful for the big guys of social media, has failed to account for a saturated industry that now has more networks than ever. For instance, its questions targeted Twitter, Facebook and so on, but didn’t ask about Google Plus or Snapchat, both worthy social networks. So therefore, when the Pew study finds that 22 percent of the 1,445 users polled don’t use social media sites, it could really mean they just don’t use the ones they were asked about. Or maybe they don’t use social media. Who really knows?
Some other demographic-based findings of the study:
- Older, wealthy, educated people use LinkedIn more
- Women users on Pintrest outnumber men more than 4-to-1, and usually they’re affluent
- Young people and African Americans have flocked to Instagram and Twitter in the last year
- Women use all social networks except LinkedIn more than men