Facebook Remains Most Popular Social Destination for US Web Users

Facebook screenshot Jan 2015You may instinctively know it, but new research from the Pew Research Center confirms that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site among Americans. Other platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn also significant increases in the proportion of online adults who use their sites during 2014.

The report finds that multi-platform use is on the rise, with 52 per cent of online adults now using two or more social media sites, up from 42 per cent in 2013. At the same time, significantly fewer adults use just one site — 28 per cent compared with 36 per cent last year. As in 2013, Facebook remains the most popular site among those who use only one, with 79 per cent of those who use just one site saying it’s Facebook that they use. As in years past, a significant majority of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn users say they also use Facebook, more than any other site. At the same time, the proportion of Facebook users who also use another site is on the rise.

Pinterest is dominated by women, with 42 per cent of online women using the platform, compared with 13 per cent of online men. Facebook, meanwhile is increasing in popularity with older internet users. For the first time in 2014, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56 per cent) used Facebook. Instagram, on the other hand, is growing its audience of younger users. For the first time in 2014, 53 per cent of internet using young adults aged 18 – 29 used Instagram.

While Facebook remains the most popular social media site, its overall growth has slowed, with 71 per cent of internet users on Facebook, the same figure as in August 2013. Every other social media platform measured saw significant growth between 2013 and 2014, with Instagram posting a nine percentage point increase in overall user numbers and seeing significant growth in almost every demographic group.

LinkedIn continued to grow among groups with which it was already popular, such as professionals and college graduates, while Twitter and Pinterest saw increases in usership across a variety of demographic groups.

While Facebook’s growth may have slowed, however, its user base remains highly active. 70 per cent of Facebook users engage with the site daily and 45 per cent do so several times a day. 49 per cent of Instagram users and 17 per cent of Pinterest users engage with their respective platforms daily, although neither of these represent a significant change from 2013. Some 36 per cent of Twitter users visit the site daily, but this actually represents a 10-point decrease from the 46 per cent who did so in 2013.

The findings are based on omnibus surveys conducted by phone with 1,597 internet users in the US in September 2014.