73 Percent of Online Adults Focus on Five Social Networks

January 9, 2014

By Jack Loechner, MediaPost

A new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project shows that 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind. Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. And, says the report, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis.

As in previous Pew Research surveys of social networking usage, Facebook remains the dominant player in the social networking space. 71% of online adults are now Facebook users, a slight increase from the 67% of online adults who used Facebook as of late 2012.

Overall, 42% of online adults use two or more of these social networks, while 36% use only one. Among those who only use one major social networking platform, 84% say that Facebook is the single site that they frequent. Among those who use just one social networking site, 8% use LinkedIn, 4% use Pinterest, and 2% each say that Instagram or Twitter is their sole social networking site.

63% of Facebook users report going on the site 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. Just 14% of Facebook users say that they visit the site less than once a week.
Instagram users visit the site nearly as frequently as Facebook users. More than half 57% of Instagram users use the app on a daily basis, with 35% doing so several times per day. 46% use Twitter daily, with 29% checking in several times per day. However, 32% of Twitter users say that they check in 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, and around half say they use the sites less than once per week.

63% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, with 40% doing so multiple times throughout the day. Instagram and Twitter have a significantly smaller number of users than Facebook does, but users of these sites also tend to visit them frequently. 57% of Instagram users visit the site at least once a day (with 35% doing so multiple times per day), and 46% of Twitter users are daily visitors (with 29% visiting multiple times per day).

While Facebook is popular across a diverse mix of demographic groups, other sites have developed their own unique demographic user profiles.

18% of online adults currently use Twitter according to the report, statistically similar to the 16% who did so in 2012. As was the case in previous surveys on Twitter use, adoption levels are particularly high among younger adults and African-Americans.
17% of online adults use Instagram, up from 13% in late 2012. Two groups in particular have experienced a notable increase in usage in the last year. Instagram use by internet users ages 18-29 has increased from 28% in late 2012 to 37% in 2013. Adoption by African American internet users has increased from 23% to 34% over the same time period, according to the report.

21% of online adults use Pinterest, up from the 15% in December 2012. 33% of online women are Pinterest users, compared to just 8% of men. Pinterest users skew slightly towards the affluent side. Those in the highest income bracket are more likely than those in the lowest to use the site, as are those with a college degree or higher compared to those who have not attended college.

22% of online adults are LinkedIn users. Geared towards professional networking, its user demographics are unique from the other sites discussed. 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. It is also the only social networking site measured for which usage among 50-64 year olds is higher than usage among those ages 18-29.

The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from August 7 to September 16, 2013, 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.


"73 Percent of Online Adults Focus On Five Social Networks." Jack Loechner, MediaPost, 01/08/14.

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