New Pew Data on Social Media Platforms

Content From: HIV.govPublished: July 02, 20192 min read


Graph titled, Facebook, YouTube continue to be the most widely used online platforms among U.S. adults. Chart shows YouTube at 73%, Facebook at 69%, Instagram, 37%; Pinterest, 28; LinkedIn, 27; Snapchat, 24; Twitter, 22; WhatsApp, 20; Reddit, 11.
Credit: Pew

Cross-posted from Pew Research CenterExit Disclaimer

The share of U.S. adults who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically unchanged from where it stood in early 2018 despite a long stretch of controversies over privacy, fake newsExit Disclaimer and censorship on social mediaExit Disclaimer, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7, 2019.

More broadly, the steady growth in adoption that social platforms have experienced in the United States over the past decade also appears to be slowing. The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter are each largely the sameExit Disclaimer as in 2016, with only Instagram showing an uptick in use during this time period. (There are no comparable 2016 phone survey data for YouTube, Snapchat, WhatsApp or Reddit.)

Facebook — which recently celebrated its 15th anniversaryExit Disclaimer — remains one of the most widely used social media sites among adults in the U.S. Roughly seven-in-ten adults (69%) say they ever use the platform. (A separate 2018 Center survey showed Facebook use among U.S. teensExit Disclaimer had dropped in recent years.) YouTube is the only other online platform measured that matches Facebook’s reach: 73% of adults report using the video sharing site. But certain online platforms, most notably Instagram and Snapchat, have an especially strong following among young adults.

Instagram, Snapchat Remain Especially Popular among Those Ages 18 to 24

As was true in previous surveys of social media useExit Disclaimer by the Center, there are substantial age-related differences in platform use. This is especially true of Instagram and Snapchat, which are used by 67% and 62% of 18- to 29-year-olds, respectively.

Particularly for these two platforms, there are also pronounced differences in use within the young adult population. Those ages 18 to 24 are substantially more likely than those ages 25 to 29 to say they use Snapchat (73% vs. 47%) and Instagram (75% vs. 57%).

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