Social Media Use Among Adults On The Rise, Facebook Still Dominant

A survey by the Pew Research Center, released last week, shows that social media usage is rising among adults, and while Facebook is still the platform of choice for most, an increasing number are using more than one on a daily basis.

The survey, which was conducted by telephone between August and September last year, showed that 73% of online adults now use some form of social networking service. while 42% use more than one. Facebook is still way out in front, and has in fact extended its lead since last year, with 71% of respondents using it as opposed to 67% last year.

Although Facebook is popular across the board, other networks seem to be carving out demographic niches for themselves. In particular, Pinterest has four times as many female users as male users, while LinkedIn is popular with college graduates and internet users in higher-income households. There is significant crossover between the Twitter and Instagram user bases, which are popular with younger adults, non-whites, and urban dwellers.

Engagement is highest among Facebook and Instagram users, with the majority of the people that use these sites visiting them at least once a day. 63% of Facebookers check in one or more times daily, while 40% check it multiple times during the day. Twitter and Instagram are far less popular, but their users are still very frequent visitors, with 57% of Instagram users visiting once a day or more, and 46% of Twitter users doing the same.

Perhaps the most interesting finding of the survey is that 42% of adults now use more than one social networking platform, and in most cases this is Facebook along with one or more others. For users that just use one platform, 84% use Facebook as compared to 8% using LinkedIn exclusively, 4% using Pinterest, and 2% using Twitter or Instagram as their only social channel.

Worryingly for Google, the search giant’s much-touted Google+ social network wasn’t even deemed worthy of covering in the survey, despite seemingly impressive growth in user figures. Other social platforms such as Youtube, Tumblr, Reddit, and Vine were also left out of the equation, but these were covered in another Pew Research study into how people consume news on the social web.