A majority of Americans report using YouTube and Facebook, while Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok use is particularly common among adults under 30.
how did we do it
To better understand how Americans use social media, online platforms and messaging apps, the Pew Research Center surveyed 1,502 American adults on mobile and landline phones from January 25 to February 8, 2021. Conducted by interviewers conducted by Abt Associates, the survey is weighted to be representative of the US adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, education, and other categories. Here they areQuestions used for this reporttogether with the answers andin the methodology.
despite aseries of controversiesand the publicrelatively negative feelingsWhen it comes to aspects of social networking, nearly seven out of 10 Americans say they've used some form of social networking site, a proportion thatremained relativehas held steady over the past five years, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of American adults.
In addition to the general question about the use of social networks as a whole, the survey also includes the use of individual pages and applications. YouTube and Facebook continue to dominate the online scene, with 81% and 69% respectively saying they have used these sites. And YouTube and Reddit were the only two platforms viewed statistically.Significant growth since 2019, when the center last asked about this topic via a telephone survey.
For the other platforms in the survey, 40% of adults say they already use Instagram, and about three in 10 say they use Pinterest or LinkedIn. A quarter say they use Snapchat and similar shares say they use Twitter or WhatsApp. TikTok – oneShort video sharing app- is used by 21% of Americans, while 13% say they use itoriented neighborhoodside platform.
While other platforms don't come close to the overall reach of YouTube or Facebook, there are some sites or apps — notably Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok — that have a particularly strong following among young adults. Indeed, most 18-29 year olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while about half say the same about TikTok.
These results are from a nationally representative survey of 1,502 US adults, conducted by telephone from January 25 to February 8, 2021.
With the exception of YouTube and Reddit, most platforms have seen little growth since 2019.
YouTube is the most used online platform in this research, and there is evidence that its reach is growing. 81% of Americans say they've used the video-sharing site, up from 73% in 2019. Reddit was the only other platform surveyed to see statistically significant growth, up 11% over that period from 2019. at 18% today.
Facebook's growth has stalled over the past five years, but it remains one of the most used social networking sites among adults in the United States: 69% of adults today say they've used the site, which is why they did for two years back before.
Likewise, the respective proportions of Americans reporting on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and WhatsApp remain statistically unchanged.since 2019. This represents a broader trend that extends beyond the past couple of years, where the rapid adoption of most of these sites and apps has slowed over the past decade. (This was the first year the center asked about TikTok via a phone survey, and the first time it conducted a Nextdoor survey.)
Adults under 30 stand out for their use of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok
When asked about using social media more broadly rather than using specific platforms, 72% of Americans said they've used social networking sites.
In a pattern consistent withprevious studies of the centerWhen it comes to social media usage, there are some key age differences. Some 84% of 18-29 year olds say they have used a social networking site, which matches the proportion of 30-49 year olds who say so (81%). In comparison, a slightly smaller proportion of people aged 50-64 (73%) say they use social networking sites, while less than half of people aged 65 and over (45%) say they do.
These age differences often extend to the use of specific platforms, and younger Americans are more likely to use these sites than older Americans, although differences between younger and older Americans vary by platform.
A majority of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram or Snapchat, with about half saying they use TikTok, with younger members of this cohort (18- to 24-year-olds) being particularly likely to say they use Instagram ( 76%). , Snapchat (75%) or TikTok (55%).1These proportions are in stark contrast to those of older age groups. For example, while 65% of adults aged 18-29 say they use Snapchat, only 2% of those aged 65 and over say they use the app, a difference of 63 percentage points.
Also, the vast majority of adults under 65 use YouTube. A staggering 95% of 18-29 year olds say they use the platform, along with 91% of 30-49 year olds and 83% of 50-64 year olds. However, this proportion drops significantly, to 49%, among those over 65 years of age.
By comparison, the age gap between younger and older Americans on Facebook is smaller. A staggering 70% of 18-29 year olds say they use the platform, and those proportions are statistically the same for 30-49 year olds (77%) or 50-64 year olds (73%). Half of people over 65 say they use the site, making Facebook and YouTube the two platforms most used by this older population.
Other sites and apps stand out for their demographic differences:
- Instagram:About half of Hispanics (52%) and African Americans (49%) say they use the platform, compared with smaller proportions of white Americans (35%) who say the same.2
- Whatsapp:Hispanics (46%) say they use WhatsApp much more often than black (23%) or white Americans (16%). Hispanics also stood out in the center's previous research on the subject for their use of WhatsApp.
- Linkedin:In turn, those with a higher level of education are more likely to report being a LinkedIn user than those with a lower level of education. About half of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher (51%) report using LinkedIn, compared with a smaller proportion of those with some college experience (28%) and those with a high school diploma or less (10%).
- Pinterest:Women are still much more likely than men to say they use Pinterest compared to men, with a 30 point difference (46% vs 16%).
- Next to:There are big differences in the use of this platform depending on the type of community. Adults who live in cities (17%) or suburbs (14%) are more likely to use Nextdoor. Only 2% of rural Americans say they use the site.
Most Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram users report visiting these platforms on a daily basis.
Although much has been written about AmericansChange in relationship with Facebook, its users are still very active on the platform. Seven out of ten Facebook users say they use the site every day, including 49% who say they use the site multiple times a day. (These numbers are statistically the same as those of2019 center surveyon the use of social networks).
Smaller, but still majority, proportions of Snapchat or Instagram users say they visit those respective platforms daily (59% for both). And being active on these sites is especially common for younger users. For example, 71% of Snapchat users aged between 18 and 29 say they use the app every day, including six in 10 who say they use the app multiple times a day. On Instagram, the pattern is similar: 73% of Instagram users aged between 18 and 29 say they visit the page every day, and around half (53%) say they visit multiple times a day.
YouTube is used daily by 54% of its users, with 36% reporting visiting the site multiple times a day. In comparison, Twitter is used less frequently, with less than half of users (46%) claiming to visit the site every day.