Commentary

Social Networking Captures Almost 3/4 of US Adults

According to the PEW Research Center, as of May 2013, 72% of online U.S. adults use social networking sites, up from 67% in late 2012, and 8% in 2005. In asking about general usage of social networking sites in this survey, the study found that 18% of online adults are now Twitter users. This is roughly double the 8% of online adults who used Twitter in November 2010, the first time PEW asked about Twitter as a stand-alone platform.

Today, social networking site use is a major activity for internet users from a wide range of demographic groups. Younger adults are especially avid adopters, but social networking continues to grow in popularity for older adults as well. Six out of ten internet users ages 50-64 are social networking site users, as are 43% of those ages 65 and older.

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Social Networking Site Users (% of Internet Users/Group)

User

% of Category

   Men

70%

   Women

74

Race/Ethnicity

   White, non-Hispanic

70

   Black, non-Hispanic

75

   Hispanic

80

Age

   18-29

89

   30-49

78

   50-64

60

   65+

43

Education

   No high school diploma

67

   High school grad

72

   Some college

73

   Some college

73

   College+

72

Annual HH income

   <$30K / year

75

   30-50K

72

   50-75K

74

   $75K +

71

Urbanity

   Urban

74

   Suburban

71

   Rural

69

Source: PEW Research Center, May 2013

Although online seniors are less likely than other age groups to use social networking sites, adoption rates for those 65 and older have tripled in the last four years (from 13% in the spring of 2009 to 43% now).

Social Networking Site Use

Internet User Age

February 2005

August 2006

May 2013

All Users

8%

 

72%

18-28

9

 

89

30-49

7

 

78

50-64

6

 

60

65+

 

1%

43

Source: PEW Research Center, May 2013

The percentage of internet users who are on Twitter has more than doubled since November 2010, currently standing at 18%. Internet users ages 18-29 are the most likely to use Twitter.

Twitter Use By Age Group

Age Group

November 2010

May 2013

Total

8%

18%

18-29

14

30

30-49

7

17

50-64

6

13

65+

4

5

Source: PEW Research Center, May 2013

The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates from April 17 to May 19, 2013. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. 

For more information from Pew Research, please visit here.

 

 

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