Pew: Facebook Dominant But Flat, Instagram, Pinterest Have Doubled Users
Usage of Snapchat, WhatsApp and other messaging apps surges.
Almost half (49 percent) of those 18 to 29 in the US are now users of messaging apps, according to new survey data from the Pew Research Center. This compares to 36 percent of the total US smartphone population that uses them.
Those findings come from the latest study on Americans’ use of social media. The data were based on telephone interviews conducted in March and April among 1,907 adults.
In addition to the growing use of messaging apps (e.g., Snapchat, WhatsApp, iMessage), the report examines usage patterns and demographics associated with the major social networking sites. The following are the demographic highlights of each of the major social sites profiled in the report:
- Facebook: Enjoys broad penetration and usage among all groups except those over 65
- Pinterest: Females under 50 dominate usage
- Instagram: Used by non-whites more often (vs. other networks) and by female and younger users
- LinkedIn: Used by older working adults with higher education and incomes
- Twitter: Used by younger urbanites vs. residents of suburbs or rural areas
Facebook continues to be the dominant social networking site by a wide margin. It also has the most engaged user base in terms of daily usage — though the Facebook-owned Instagram is not far behind. Pinterest, and especially, LinkedIn have much less daily usage and engagement.
Yet Facebook is not growing, according to the Pew data. Though its base is much larger, which means percentage growth is necessarily going to be smaller, Facebook is essentially flat year over year. But investors are unlikely to be concerned right now because of Facebook’s increasing ability to monetize its audience.
One site not quite as well positioned is Twitter, whose usage is also flat but with much lower overall penetration. And LinkedIn actually saw its user base fall from last year, according to the survey. Conversely, Pinterest and Instagram have seen their user bases double since 2012.
The survey did not separate mobile from desktop usage of the sites. It also neglected to examine relative usage of individual “messaging apps” so that they could be compared to one another and the “mainstream” social sites discussed in the report.