Social Media Fact Sheet – Pew Research

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.

Social Media Fact Sheet - Pew Research

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.

Social Media Fact Sheet - Pew Research

Which social media platforms are most popular

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.

Social Media Fact Sheet - Pew Research

Who uses each social media platform

Usage of the major social media platforms varies by factors such as age, gender and educational attainment.

Social Media Fact Sheet - Pew Research

How often Americans use social media sites

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.

Social Media Fact Sheet - Pew Research

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Pew Research Center News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016

About 6-in-10 Americans get news from social media 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.

Reddit, Facebook and Twitter users most likely to get news on each siteNews 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.

Social media news use: Facebook leads the pack

The audience overlap

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.

Most social media news consumers only get news on one site

Seeking out news online

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 Instagram, Facebook and YouTube news users most likely to happen upon news online, but LinkedIn, Twitter and Reddit news users are more evenly divided between news seekers and non-seekers

The demographics of social media news consumers

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.

Demographic profile of social networking site news users

Social news consumers and other news platforms

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.

Social media news consumers access news on a number of other platforms

Changes over time

Growth in use of social media for news 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.

  1. In 2012, this was asked over the phone and asked about “seeing” news rather than “getting” news. Additionally, this figure combines items about news on social media generally and news specifically on Twitter. ?
  2. News consumers for each social networking website are defined as those who answered that they “ever get news or news headlines” on each site. News is defined as “information about events and issues that involve more than just your friends or family.” ?
  3. While the portion of Reddit news users who get news online because they are looking for it is 13 percentage points higher than the portion of those users that get news while doing other things online, these numbers are not statistically different due to the small number of Reddit news users in the sample. ?
  4. Twitter’s difference between 2013 and 2016 approaches statistical significance, but does not reach significance with traditional standards. ?
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Ford Motor Company’s Use of Social Media in the US

I did a brief stint in the Public Affairs office of Ford Motor company before social media exploded in society. I am very impressed with Ford’s use of social media. For example, their social media director (first of all they have an executive position slotted for social media) was at Blog World!

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Social Media gives power to the people

helsink commission

Helsinki Commission to Hold Briefing on New Media

WASHINGTON­—After a year in which Twitter and Facebook catalyzed protest movements in Iran and Moldova and authoritarian regimes around the world unleashed new tools of Internet control, Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) will hold a public briefing:

“Twitter against Tyrants: New Media in Authoritarian Regimes”
Thursday, October 22, 2009, 2:00 p.m.
1539 Longworth House Office Building

This briefing will consider the ways in which new media and Internet communication technologies affect the balance of power between human rights activists and authoritarian governments. Panelists will focus on new media’s role in protests and elections, the ways in which it empowers civil society activists, and the darker side: how dictators use new technology to control and repress their citizens.

The following panelists are scheduled to speak:

· Daniel Calingaert, Deputy Director of Programs, Freedom House
· Nathan Freitas, Adjunct Professor, New York University Interactive Telecom Program; developer of
groundbreaking technology for protests
· Evgeny Morozov, Yahoo! Fellow at Georgetown University’s E.A. Walsh School of Foreign Service;
contributing editor, Foreign Policy
· Chris Spence, Chief Technology Officer, National Democratic Institute

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The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.

www.facebook.com/helsinkicommission

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