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09 April 2021
YouTube is social media’s big winner during pandemic
Youth media useDigital media consumptionYouTube
YouTube and Reddit were the social platforms that gained most over the past year, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.
A survey of more than 1,500 US adults conducted by the Pew Research Center between January 25th and February 8th found that only two social media platforms had experienced statistically significant growth over the pandemic period: four-fifths (81%) of American adult consumers now say they use YouTube, up from 73% in 2019; Reddit, meanwhile, increased from 11% to 18% over the same period.
Facebook’s growth has levelled off over the last five years, but it remains one of the most widely used social media sites in the US, with 69% of adults saying they use it.
Apart from YouTube (81%) and Facebook (69%), the most popular social media sites for US adults are Instagram (40%), Pinterest (31%), LinkedIn (28%), Snapchat (25%), Twitter (23%), WhatsApp (23%), TikTok (21%), Reddit (18%) and neighborhood platform Nextdoor (13%).
However, a majority of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok. In addition, fully 95% of this age group say they use YouTube, along with 91% of 30-49s and 83% of 50-64s.
The respective shares of Americans who report using Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and WhatsApp are statistically unchanged since 2019.
Hispanic Americans (46%) are far more likely to say they use WhatsApp than Black (23%) or White Americans (16%), while women continue to be far more likely than men to say they use Pinterest (46% versus 16%).
Seven-in-ten Facebook users say they use the site daily, including 49% who say they use the site several times a day; YouTube is used daily by 54% of its users, with 36% saying they visit the site several times a day.
“In a pattern consistent with past Center studies on social media use, there are some stark age differences … and these age differences generally extend to use of specific platforms” – Pew Research Center.