From AI to Generation Z here is a round up of trends to look for in social media this year.
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Source: Pew Research
Today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves. Explore the patterns and trends shaping the social media landscape over the past decade below.
Social media use over time
When Pew Research Center began tracking social media adoption in 2005, just 5% of American adults used at least one of these platforms. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 69% of the public uses some type of social media.
As more Americans have adopted social media, the social media user base has also grown more representative of the broader population. Young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years.
Facebook is the most-widely used of the major social media platforms, and its user base is most broadly representative of the population as a whole. Smaller shares of Americans use sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Usage of the major social media platforms varies by factors such as age, gender and educational attainment.
For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around half of Instagram users – visit these sites at least once a day.
A majority of U.S. adults – 62% – get news on social media, and 18% do so often, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center, conducted in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In 2012, based on a slightly different question, 49% of U.S. adults reported seeing news on social media.1
But which social media sites have the largest portion of users getting news there? How many get news on multiple social media sites? And to what degree are these news consumers seeking online news out versus happening upon it while doing other things?
As part of an ongoing examination of social media and news, Pew Research Center analyzed the scope and characteristics of social media news consumers across nine social networking sites. This study is based on a survey conducted Jan. 12-Feb. 8, 2016, with 4,654 members of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.
News plays a varying role across the social networking sites studied.2 Two-thirds of Facebook users (66%) get news on the site, nearly six-in-ten Twitter users (59%) get news on Twitter, and seven-in-ten Reddit users get news on that platform. On Tumblr, the figure sits at 31%, while for the other five social networking sites it is true of only about one-fifth or less of their user bases.
It is also useful to see how, when combined with the sites’ total reach, the proportion of users who gets news on each site translates to U.S. adults overall. Facebook is by far the largest social networking site, reaching 67% of U.S. adults. The two-thirds of Facebook users who get news there, then, amount to 44% of the general population. YouTube has the next greatest reach in terms of general usage, at 48% of U.S. adults. But only about a fifth of its users get news there, which amounts to 10% of the adult population. That puts it on par with Twitter, which has a smaller user base (16% of U.S. adults) but a larger portion getting news there.
To what extent do the various news audiences on social media overlap? Of those who get news on at least one of the sites, a majority (64%) get news on just one – most commonly Facebook. About a quarter (26%) get news on two of those sites. Just one-in-ten get news on three or more.
Differences also emerge in how active or passive each group of news users is in their online news habits more generally. YouTube, Facebook and Instagram news users are more likely to get their news online mostly by chance, when they are online doing other things. Alternatively, the portion of Reddit, Twitter and LinkedIn news users who seek out news online is roughly similar to the portion that happen upon it.3
A look at the demographic characteristics of news consumers on the five social networking sites with the biggest news audiences shows that, while there is some crossover, each site appeals to a somewhat different group. Instagram news consumers stand out from other groups as more likely to be non-white, young and, for all but Facebook, female. LinkedIn news consumers are more likely to have a college degree than news users of the other four platforms; Twitter news users are the second most likely. The demographics of other sites can be found in the Appendix.
Social media news consumers still get news from a variety of other sources and to a fairly consistent degree across sites. For example, across the five sites with the biggest news audiences, roughly two-in-ten news users of each also get news from nightly network television news; about three-in-ten turn to local TV. One area that saw greater variation was news websites and apps. Roughly half of Twitter and LinkedIn news consumers also get news from news websites and apps, while that is true of one-third of Facebook and YouTube news users.
This report is an update to a 2013 report, with the addition of Snapchat and the removal of three sites: Pinterest, which has been shown to have a small portion of users who use it for news; Myspace, which has largely transitioned to a music site; and Google+, which through its recent transformations is being phased out as a social networking site. For the sites analyzed in both 2013 and 2016, a few significant differences emerge.
Of the sites we tracked since 2013, three of eight show an increase in the portion of users who get news there: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.4
The full 2013-2016 trends for usage and demographics can be found in the Appendix.
In a new survey conducted in September 2014, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site. While its growth has slowed, the level of user engagement with the platform has increased. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn saw significant increases over the past year in the proportion of online adults who now use their sites.
The results in this report are based on American adults who use the internet.1 Other key findings:
Facebook continues to be the most popular social media site, but its membership saw little change from 2013. The one notable exception is older adults: For the first time in Pew Research findings, more than half (56%) of internet users ages 65 and older use Facebook. Overall, 71% of internet users are on Facebook, a proportion that represents no change from August 2013.
Every other social media platform measured saw significant growth between 2013 and 2014. Instagram not only increased its overall user figure by nine percentage points, but also saw significant growth in almost every demographic group. LinkedIn continued to grow among groups with which it was already popular, such as professionals and college graduates, while Twitter and Pinterest saw increases in usership across a variety of demographic groups.
Facebook’s large base of users continues to be very active. Fully 70% engage with the site daily (and 45% do so several times a day), a significant increase from the 63% who did so in 2013. About half (49%) of Instagram users and 17% of Pinterest users engage with their respective platforms daily, although neither of these represent a significant change from 2013. Some 36% of Twitter users visit the site daily, but this actually represents a 10-point decrease from the 46% who did so in 2013. While the 13% of LinkedIn users who engage with the platform daily is unchanged from 2013, the proportion of users who use the site weekly or less often increased significantly—that is, more users log on less frequently.
Fully 52% of online adults use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from the 42% who did so in 2013. At the same time, significantly fewer adults use just one site — 28% compared with 36% last year. As in 2013, Facebook remains the most popular site among those who use only one — fully 79% of those who use just one site report using Facebook. As in years past, a significant majority of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn users say they also use Facebook, more than any other site. At the same time, the proportion of Facebook users who also use another site is on the rise — that is, there are more Facebook users this year who also use Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn than there were in 2013.
The results of this report are primarily focused on all internet users. In the corresponding table, the usage figures of the five social networking platforms measured are presented as a proportion of the total American adult population.
The findings reported here were collected in omnibus surveys underwritten by the University of Michigan. The survey questions were designed in consultation with Dr. Nicole Ellison and Dr. Cliff Lampe from the University of Michigan’s School of Information. Further reports with more details about how people use social media will be produced later this year.
The results are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from September 11 to September 14, 2014 and September 18 to September 21, 2014. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,002) and cell phone (1,001, including 594 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 2.5 percentage points. For results based on Internet users (n=1,597), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
The following infographic from the Pew Research Center illustrates the State of Social Media in the US for 2013. Note the social media platforms that matter are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
It’s the 4th week of 2012 and no one is talking personal or business resolutions any more. I did make a fresh to-do list. It includes refreshing, rethinking, eliminating and replacing. This is where about.me comes in.
I first got wind of about.me from collaborator Laura Bazile in her new year greeting and it caught my eye again on Facebook when I spotted a “hire me” ad that landed on an about.me page.
Turns out that at least 313 of my contacts have about.me profiles. Why?
We designed about.me for ourselves. A lot of us have multiple online profiles scattered across various services, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Twitter. And one problem we face is pulling all of this information together to build a single on-line identity — be it for personal use, or to create a professional on-line profile. We’ve focused on enabling you to create your personal splash page, quickly build a personal and dynamic splash page that points visitors to your content from around the web, and understand how many people see your profile, where they’re coming from, and what they do on your page.
Meet the people behind about.me. They just may be on to something.
The most recent mutation of Facebook seems to have more people in an uproar than after previous mutations. And it’s not over yet (but since social media is always evolving we shouldn’t be surprised).
Next is “Timeline”:
Zuckerberg, Facebook creator explains that Timeline is, “the story of your life,” significantly altering the way people’s information is shown on the world’s leading social network, presenting “all your stories, all your apps, and a new way to express who you are.
As of today:
I am not sure if I will enable Timeline or not for my personal profile but would love to that option for business pages. One could highlight and showcase important business events such as product launches including photos and videos, customer feedback and customer service, events, human resources news and more.
Read more about Timeline on Facebook.
People are considering Google+ as an alternative to Facebook as the recent changes and repeated privacy concerns are leaving some users displeased. I have decided to cautiously use Google+ while I decide how I should use it. I am leaning toward using Google+ as an additional place to have a business profile. A site that feels friendlier than linked in and not as noisy as Facebook. To that end I probably have to go back and rethink my Google+ circles.
It is anything but boring when working in social media and the plethora of choices can only mean that one has to really consider why they are engaged in social media.