Twitter Use Appears to Be on the Rise Among US Youth

May 2, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

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

Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media brand in the US, according to survey results contained in the latest Infinite Dial report [pdf] from Edison Research, produced in partnership with Wondery and ART19. But while Facebook usage is flat, other platforms are growing in adoption, per the results.

Overall, 63% of the respondents ages 12 and older reported using Facebook, up slightly from last year (61%), but flat from 2020 (63%). Usage of other more mature platforms such as Pinterest and LinkedIn also remained relatively steady from the past couple of years, at 28% and 21% of respondents, respectively.

Twitter’s Popularity Up

Interestingly, as one of the more longstanding platforms, Twitter seems to be experiencing an increase in adoption. Some 27% of respondents this year reported using the platform, up from 23% last year and 21% the year prior.

The percentage of respondents using Twitter rose this year across each age group analyzed (12-34; 35-54; and 55+), but the increase was mainly driven by youth. This year more than 4 in 10 (42% of) respondents ages 12-34 report using Twitter, representing a considerable hike from last year’s 34%, which itself was up from 29% the year prior. As a result of its increased popularity among this age group, more say they use it than do Pinterest.

By comparison, Twitter usage growth was more modest among the 35-54 (28%, up from 25% in 2021 and 22% in 2020) and 55+ (12% up from 10% the 2 years prior) age groups.

Recently-released research from the Pew Research Center suggests that many Twitter users in the middle-aged bracket are “lurkers” – infrequent users posting an average of fewer than 5 tweets per month. The study found that while 30-49-year-olds represented about one-third (32%) of frequent tweeters (5 or more tweets per month), they comprised almost 6 in 10 (59% of) infrequent tweeters.

TikTok Still Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Among the newer platforms, it continues to be TikTok showing the biggest jumps in adoption, according to the Infinite Dial study. More than 1 in 3 (36% of) respondents ages 12 and older said they use the platform, up more than 50% from last year’s 23%, and more than triple the 11% from just 2 years ago.

Among the more youth-focused platforms, Instagram also saw a rise in adoption (to 46%, from 43% last year), while for Snapchat usage declined by a point to 27%.

TikTok is now entrenched as a mainstay among youth. For the 12-34 age group, its adoption in the Infinite Dial survey has soared from 25% in 2020 to 44% last year and now 61% this year. In so doing it’s overtaken Facebook (58%) and Snapchat (53%), trailing only Instagram (72%).

These figures may be influenced by the broad age range in this grouping. When narrowing to teens, TikTok’s influence is even greater. A new survey, for example, shows that it has overtaken Instagram as teens’ favorite social app, while recent data also suggests that more teens use it on a weekly basis than do Instagram and Snapchat.

Still, TikTok is also making waves among older adults. In the middle-aged bracket (35-54), one-third (34%) of respondents reported using the app, more than double last year’s figure (16%), which itself had been a big jump from 2020 (5%). In fact, more 35-54-year-olds reported using TikTok than Pinterest (33%), LinkedIn (31%) and Twitter (28%).

Finally about 1 in 8 (13% of) adults ages 55 and older responding to the survey this year said they use TikTok, about double the 6% from last year. While Facebook (57%) is easily the most-used among this age group, TikTok’s rise puts it closer to Pinterest (20%) and Instagram (18%), while level with LinkedIn (13%) and Twitter (12%).

About the Data: The results are based on a January survey of 1,502 people in the US ages 12 and older.

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