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Half of young use messaging apps

News, 21 August 2015

WASHINGTON, DC: Social and mobile behaviour in the US continues to change rapidly, with the use of messaging apps increasing among all age groups while usage of Pinterest and Instagram has doubled since 2012, according to new research.

The Pew Research Center carried out telephone interviews with 1,907 adults and found that just over one third (36%) used messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage, a figure that rose to 49% among 18-29 year olds.

Younger users also favoured apps that automatically delete sent messages – 41% chose these against just 17% of all users.

The survey also explored usage of social media platforms and online forums. Not surprisingly, growth on Facebook has reached a plateau: 72% of online users are already Facebook users – compared to 67% in 2012 – with 70% saying they log on daily.

Over that same period, however, the proportion of online adults using Instagram had risen from 13% to 28% with the comparable figures for Pinterest rising from 15% to 31%.

LinkedIn and Twitter saw slower rates of growth: the proportion of online adults using LinkedIn had risen from 20% to 25% (and had actually fallen from 28% in 2014), while Twitter saw a rise from 16% to 23%.

None of the social media platforms measured had experienced a statistically significant increase in usage between September 2014 and April 2015, Pew reported, but in terms of user engagement, the proportion of Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn users who used the respective sites daily had increased significantly.

Instagram registered a ten-point uplift to 59% of Instagram users, as did Pinterest which now stands at 27%; for LinkedIn an increase of nine points took it to 22%.

At 38%, Twitter saw no significant changes in its proportion of daily users.

But even if the microblogging site is not growing its number of users, it has more than doubled the audience it can reach to around 700m.


Advertisers using its new Audience Platform can reach users of third-party apps via MoPub, the mobile ad exchange it bought in 2013, as well as Twitter users.

Data sourced from Pew Research Center, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff