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Pew-SocNet-Usage-Matrix-Jan2014The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has released the results [pdf] of its latest survey of social networking usage among online adults in the US. The report keyed in on 5 major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn – finding that more respondents use multiple platforms (42%) than do a single one (36%). The study uncovers some interesting findings on “reciprocity” between the social networks.

Given that Facebook is easily the dominant platform (71% of respondents reported using it), it’s not surprising that the vast majority of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn users also use the site. LinkedIn users are the least likely to also use Facebook – with 83% doing so. (By comparison, 93% of Instagram users are on Facebook.)

Facebook aside, the highest level of what Pew dubs “reciprocity” between social networking user groups is for Twitter and Instagram. The data indicates that a slight majority – 53% – of Twitter users are using Instagram. The same portion of Instagram users are also using Twitter.

That’s by far the biggest overlap between non-Facebook platforms – no other user groups cracked the 40% mark in reciprocity. The next-highest percentage was for Twitter users also using LinkedIn (39%).

Some further highlights from the social media matrix:

  • Twitter users are less likely to double as Pinterest users (34%) than as LinkedIn users (39%);
  • Only 30% of Instagram users also use LinkedIn;
  • 3 in 10 Pinterest users also use Twitter (29%), Instagram (31%), or LinkedIn (29%); and
  • LinkedIn users are more likely to also be found on Twitter (31%) than on Instagram (24%).

It’s worth noting that when asked the number of sites they use, only 22% of respondents said they had not yet adopted any of the 5 major platforms identified, implying that social networking adoption is closing in on 80%. Elsewhere, the report – using data from a separate survey – provides an estimate that 73% of online adults now use a social networking site. The actual figure may be somewhere in between – but nonetheless, adoption of social networking sites appears to be up from May of 2013, when 71% of surveyed adults claimed to use at least one.

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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