Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

About Follow

Donate

Fact Sheet

February 5, 2018

Social Media Fact Sheet

    MORE FACT SHEETS: INTERNET/BROADBAND | MOBILE TECHNOLOGY

    Today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves. Explore the patterns and trends shaping the social media landscape over the past decade below.

    Social media use over time

    When Pew Research Center began tracking social media adoption in 2005, just 5% of American adults used at least one of these platforms. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 69% of the public uses some type of social media.

    U.S. adults
    3/21/2005 5%
    12/8/2005 8%
    8/31/2006 11%
    5/11/2008 21%
    8/10/2008 26%
    8/31/2008 25%
    12/4/2008 27%
    12/20/2008 26%
    4/19/2009 36%
    9/14/2009 37%
    12/27/2009 42%
    1/19/2010 43%
    5/30/2010 48%
    9/13/2010 46%
    11/24/2010 45%
    11/28/2010 46%
    12/21/2010 47%
    5/22/2011 50%
    8/26/2011 50%
    2/19/2012 53%
    8/7/2012 59%
    12/9/2012 54%
    5/19/2013 61%
    7/14/2013 60%
    9/30/2013 63%
    1/26/2014 62%
    7/12/2015 65%
    11/6/2016 69%
    1/10/2018 69%

    Pew Research Center

    Who uses social media

    As more Americans have adopted social media, the social media user base has also grown more representative of the broader population. Young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years.

    • Age
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Income
    • Education
    • Community

    Which social media platforms are most popular

    Facebook is the most-widely used of the major social media platforms, and its user base is most broadly representative of the population as a whole. Smaller shares of Americans use sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.

    Facebook Pinterest Instagram LinkedIn Twitter Snapchat YouTube WhatsApp
    8/5/2012 54% 10% 9% 16% 13%
    8/7/2012 14%
    12/9/2012 13% 11% 13%
    12/16/2012 57%
    5/19/2013 15%
    7/14/2013 16%
    9/16/2013 57% 17% 14% 17% 14%
    9/30/2013 16%
    1/26/2014 16%
    9/21/2014 58% 22% 21% 23% 19%
    4/12/2015 62% 26% 24% 22% 20%
    4/4/2016 68% 26% 28% 25% 21%
    1/10/2018 68% 29% 35% 25% 24% 27% 73% 22%

    Pew Research Center

    Who uses each social media platform

    Usage of the major social media platforms varies by factors such as age, gender and educational attainment.

    • Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter
    • Pinterest/Snapchat/YouTube/WhatsApp

    How often Americans use social media sites

    For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Instagram users – visit these sites at least once a day.

    Platform Less often Weekly Daily
    Facebook 10% 17% 74%
    Snapchat 15% 21% 63%
    Instagram 18% 21% 60%
    Twitter 29% 25% 46%
    YouTube 21% 34% 45%

    Pew Research Center

    Find out more

    Follow these links for more in-depth analysis of the impact of social media on American life.

    Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life May 2, 2018
    5 facts about Americans and Facebook April 10, 2018
    Americans’ complicated feelings about social media in an era of privacy concerns March 27, 2018
    Social Media Use in 2018 March 1, 2018
    The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online Oct. 19, 2017
    The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online March 29, 2017

    All reports and blog posts related to social media.