WASHINGTON DC: A large majority of Americans continue to use Facebook (68%) and YouTube (73%), but social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are especially popular among young consumers aged 18 to 24.
These are some of the headline findings from the latest Pew Research Center survey of social media habits and preferences in the US, based on responses from a nationwide sample of more than 2,000 adults.
As well as confirming that Facebook and YouTube remain the most popular platforms, the survey revealed that around three-quarters (74%) of Facebook users access the site on a daily basis, while half (51%) do so several times a day.
But the social media story extends well beyond Facebook, the Pew report stated, as it pointed to the finding that YouTube is now used by 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.
And the typical American adult reports that they use three of the eight major platforms covered in the survey – YouTube (73%), Facebook (68%), Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%), LinkedIn (25%), Twitter (24%) and WhatsApp (22%).
Although Instagram is a distant third at 35%, Pew noted that the image-sharing platform saw a seven percentage points increase in usage since its last survey in 2016.
At the same time, young Americans aged 18 to 24 are much more likely to use platforms such as Snapchat (78%), Instagram (71%) and Twitter (45%).
Meanwhile, other platforms appeal more strong to certain sections of society, the survey found. For example, 41% of women say they use Pinterest compared with just 16% of men.
Some 50% of Americans with a college degree use LinkedIn compared with only 9% of those with a high school diploma or less, while 49% of Hispanic Americans report using WhatsApp compared with just 21% of African Americans and 14% of whites.
Interestingly, the survey also found that 40% of respondents would find it hard to give up social media, up from 28% in 2014, although this tends to vary according to age.
Around half (51%) of those aged 18 to 24 say they would find it hard to give up social media, although only a third (33%) of those aged 50+ feel the same way.
“As was true in previous surveys of social media use, there is a substantial amount of overlap between users of the various sites measured in this survey. Most notably, a significant majority of users of each of these social platforms also indicate that they use Facebook and YouTube,” said Aaron Smith, Pew’s Associate Director of Research.
“But this ‘reciprocity’ extends to other sites as well. For instance, roughly three-quarters of both Twitter (73%) and Snapchat (77%) users also indicate that they use Instagram,” he added.
Sourced from Pew Research Center; additional content by WARC staff