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Social Network Data: Growth Trends, Engagement Levels, and Demographic Profiles

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
January 7, 2014

Facebook remains the dominant social network in the United States, but more and more users are diversifying to multiple platforms, according to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Pew found that 73% of online adults now use a social network of some kind, and 42% use multiple social networks.

Among those who use only one major social network, 84% say Facebook is the platform they frequent, 8% use only LinkedIn, 4% Pinterest, and 2% Instagram or Twitter.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 1,801 US online adults.

Frequency of Use

  • 63% of Facebook users report using the platform at least daily, with 40% logging on multiple times per day, giving it not only the highest overall percentage of users but also the most engaged.
  • Instagram users visit the platform nearly as frequently as Facebook users. More than half (57%) use the app on a daily basis, and 35% do so several times per day.
  • Twitter users are also frequent visitors. Nearly half (46%) of users check Twitter daily, and 29% check several times per day. However, 32% of Twitter users say they visit less than once per week.
  • Pinterest and LinkedIn users tend to have more intermittent patterns of usage. Just 23% of Pinterest users and 13% of LinkedIn users visit the sites daily.

Network Trends

  • 18% of online adults surveyed use Twitter, a slight increase from the 16% who did so in 2012. Adoption levels are particularly high among younger adults and African-Americans.
  • 17% use Instagram, up from 13% in 2012. Instagram adoption by Internet users age 18-29 has increased from 28% in late 2012 to 37% in 2013, and adoption by African-American Internet users has increased from 23% to 34% over the same time period.
  • 21% use Pinterest, up from the 15% in 2012. Women continue to dominate the site: 33% of online women are Pinterest users, compared with just 8% of men.
  • 22% use LinkedIn. Usage is especially high among people with a college degree or higher, and among those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.
  • 71% of online adults now use Facebook. Usage among seniors has increased significantly in the last year: 45% of internet users age 65 or older now use Facebook, up from 35% who did so in late 2012. Women are particularly likely to use Facebook compared with men.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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