Not surprisingly, various social networks appeal to different segments of the population. The latest social networking survey [pdf] from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project provides some insights into which online adults are most drawn to 5 key platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram – each of which has grown in penetration over the past year. The results are both intuitive (Pinterest adoption is higher among women) and intriguing (the strong appeal of Instagram and Twitter to black Americans).
[Editor’s Note: For an up-to-date breakdown of the demographics of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram users, see the MarketingCharts report, US Media Audience Demographics, which also examines audience demographics for numerous other media.]
Below are some highlights from the Pew study, ordered by popularity of the social network. (Note that all percentages below refer to percentages of US adult internet users, rather than percentage of Americans.)
The Pew figures serve as an update to a previous study released early last year, which looked at the demographics of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr users.
Overall, Facebook remains the most popular platform as of the latest study, with its 71% adoption among adult internet users up from 67% in 2012. Of the 5 platforms, LinkedIn has the next-highest penetration (22%), slightly ahead of Pinterest, which has shot up 6% points to 21%. Twitter (18%) also edges Instagram (17%), although the latter has shown a much faster rate of growth (as also evidenced here). (The two platforms also have a sizable overlap in user groups.)
While Twitter has a slightly higher (although statistically insignificant) rate of adoption than Instagram, the latter has the clear edge in engagement. Almost 6 in 10 Instagram users report using the platform on a daily basis, second only to Facebook (63%) and significantly ahead of Twitter’s 46%. Just 23% of Pinterest users and 13% of LinkedIn users report logging on daily.
About the Data: The results in the report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from August 7 to September 16, 2013, among a sample of 1,801 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (901) and cell phone (900, including 482 without a landline phone). For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. For results based on Internet users (n=1,445), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
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