Adults are much less likely than teens to have a profile on a social network website. About three in ten (35%) adult internet users age 18 and older have a profile on a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn. Meanwhile, teenagers are roughly twice as likely as adults to use these sites: among teens 12 to 17 years old, 65% have a profile on an online social network. Despite comparatively lower levels of social network use, usage of social network sites by adults has increased markedly over the past four years.
Back in February of 2005, just 8% of adult internet users had used a social network site. That percentage had risen to 16% by August of 2006, and as of December 2008 stands at 35% of online adults.
The use of social networks on any given day is also on the rise. In February 2005, just 2% of adult internet users had visited an online social network “yesterday” while 19% of adult internet users had done so in December 2008.
Social network users are equally likely to be men and women, and are also more likely to be young: 75% of online adults between ages 18 and 24 have a social network profile, as do 57% of wired adults between 25 and 34. Profile ownership drops to 30% among 35-44 year olds, 19% among 45-54 year olds, 10% among 55 to 64 year olds and 7% of online adults 65 and older. Similarly, social network users are also more likely to be students — 68% of full time students and 71% of part-time students have a social network profile, while just 28% of adults who are not students use social networks. Whites are less likely than African-Americans or Hispanics to have a profile on an online social network. Nearly one third 31% of online white adults have a social networking profile, compared with 43% of African-Americans and 48% of Hispanics.