January 9, 2015

Social Media Update 2014

Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms

Facebook

71% of adult internet users/58% of entire adult population

Facebook usersFully 71% of online American adults use Facebook, a proportion unchanged from August 2013. Usage among seniors continues to increase. Some 56% of internet users ages 65 and older now use Facebook, up from 45% who did so in late 2013 and 35% who did so in late 2012. Women are also particularly likely to use Facebook compared with men, a trend that continues from prior years.

Facebook users were asked additional questions about their friend networks. Among Facebook users, the median number of Facebook friends is 155. When asked to approximate how many of their Facebook friends they consider “actual” friends, the median number reported was 50.

Facebook users also have a wide variety of friends on the network:

  • 93% of Facebook users say they are Facebook friends with family members other than parents or children
  • 91% say they are Facebook friends with current friends
  • 87% say they are connected to friends from the past, such as high school or college classmates
  • 58% say they are connected to work colleagues
  • 45% say they are Facebook friends with their parents
  • 43% say they are friends with their children on Facebook
  • 39% say they are connected to people they have never met in person
  • 36% say they are Facebook friends with their neighbors

Twitter

23% of adult internet users/19% of entire adult population

Some 23% of online adults currently use Twitter, a statistically significant increase compared with the 18% who did so in August 2013. Twitter is particularly popular among those under 50 and the college-educated. Compared with late 2013, the service has seen significant increases among a number of demographic groups: men, whites, those ages 65 and older, those who live in households with an annual household income of $50,000 or more, college graduates, and urbanites.

Twitter users

Instagram

26% of adult internet users/21% of entire adult population

Some 26% of online adults use Instagram, up from 17% in late 2013. Almost every demographic group saw a significant increase in the proportion of users. Most notably, 53% of young adults ages 18-29 now use the service, compared with 37% who did so in 2013. Besides young adults, women are particularly likely to be on Instagram, along with Hispanics and African-Americans, and those who live in urban or suburban environments.

Instagram users

Pinterest

28% of adult internet users/22% of entire adult population

Some 28% of online adults use Pinterest, up from the 21% who did so in August 2013. Women continue to dominate the site, as they did in 2013: fully 42% of online women are Pinterest users, compared with just 13% of men (although men did see a significant increase in usership from 8% in 2013). While Pinterest remains popular among younger users, there was an 11-point increase between 2013 and 2014 in the proportion of those 50 and older who use the site. Other demographic groups that saw a notable increase in usership include whites, those living in the lowest- and highest-income households, those with at least some college experience, and suburban and rural residents.

Among online adults, the percent who use Pinterest

LinkedIn

28% of adult internet users/23% of entire adult population

Some 28% of online adults are LinkedIn users, up from 22% in August 2013. The site continues to be particularly popular among college graduates, those in higher-income households and the employed (although the increase in usage by those who are not employed to 21% from 12% in 2013 is notable). College graduates continue to dominate use of the site. Fully 50% use LinkedIn, a 12-point increase since last year. It is the only platform where those ages 30-64 are more likely to be users than those ages 18-29.

Among online adults, the percent who use LinkedIn