August 5, 2013

72% of Online Adults are Social Networking Site Users

Social Networking Sites

The number of social networking site users continues to grow
As of May 2013, almost three quarters (72%) of online U.S. adults use social networking sites, up from 67% in late 2012. When we first started asking about social networking sites in February 2005, just 8% of online adults said they used social networking sites.

In addition to asking about general usage of social networking sites in our current survey, we included a stand-alone question about Twitter and 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 we asked about Twitter as a stand-alone platform.

Social networking and Twitter growth over time

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.

Who uses social networking sites?

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 use by age group over time

Twitter

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.

Who uses Twitter?

The following chart shows Twitter use by age group, over time:

Twitter use by age group over time