Social Media Usage Trends: Discord on the Upswing

March 6, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Social Media | Teens & Younger | Youth & Gen X

Facebook use has plateaued, TikTok has taken a step back after a meteoric rise, and Discord is on the up. Those are some of the social media-related takeaways from the latest annual edition of The Infinite Dial [pdf], produced by Edison Research in partnership with Amazon Music, Wondery, and ART19.

The survey results indicate that Facebook continues to be the most widely-used social media brand among Americans ages 12 and older, with 61% reporting its use. This puts it in the same 61-63% range that it has been in since the 2018 edition of the report, suggesting that it has plateaued at around 6 in 10 people.

Usage of most other social platforms also remains flat, with both Twitter and Snapchat unchanged at 27% of respondents. Pinterest’s 31% adoption is a step up from 2022’s 28% but in line with the previous year (also 31%), while the 44% using Instagram is within the 43-46% range set in the previous 2 years. LinkedIn, however, has experienced an increase in adoption, up to 26% in this survey from 21% in 2022.

Notably, TikTok has taken a step back after a big rise last year. In this latest edition one-third (33%) of Americans ages 12 and up reported using the app, down slightly from 36% last year.

The biggest rise was reserved for Discord. This year 1 in 5 respondents (20%) report usage, up from about 1 in 8 (13%) last year.

These trends are playing out in more exaggerated fashion among respondents ages 12-34. Both Discord and LinkedIn enjoyed considerable rises in adoption this year among this younger demographic. Some 42% said they use Discord, up from 26% last year (and leapfrogging Twitter and Pinterest as a result), while 29% said they use LInkedIn, up from 19% who said so in 2022.

Instagram remains the most-used social brand among this group (flat at 72%), while TikTok use pulled back from 61% last year to 55% this year.

Although TikTok’s reach appears to have dipped among this demographic, its engagement hasn’t. When asked which social media brand they use more often, 22% cited TikTok, up from 17% last year. In fact, while last year twice as many said they use Facebook (34%) most often as TikTok (17%), this year TikTok was cited more frequently than Facebook (22% and 20%, respectively).

The most-used social brand among this young cohort is still Instagram, though, with 31% saying that’s the case, up from 24% last year.

Separately, while a growing share of Americans ages 12 and up report awareness of audio-based social media services such as Spotify Live, Twitter Spaces, Clubhouse, or Amazon Amp (35%, up from 21% last year), only 4% use one of these services, compared to 3% last year (when Amazon Amp was not included). This is supported by other recent research that has found slow take-up of these services, though that study did suggest broader reach than found in this report.

For more, check out The Infinite Dial’s 2023 edition here.

About the Data: The 2023 results are based on a January survey of 1,500 Americans ages 12 and older.


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