Survey: Facebook Still Tops But 42 Percent Now Use 2+ Social Networks

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social-network-data-featuredAccording to third quarter survey data from the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of US online adults are on social networks. Newly released data show that Facebook is still the dominant network by a wide margin. However Americans appear to be “diversifying” their social media usage.

According to new Pew survey findings out this morning, “42 percent of online adults use two or more [  ] social networks.” Among those who use only one network, Facebook is the still overwhelming favorite (84 percent).

Pew number of social sites used

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project (2013) 

Pew looked primarily at the top social networking sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. It found that most people who use more than one social network are using only two sites. However 19 percent have accounts at three or more sites.

Most people reading this would likely fall into that category — or perhaps among the 7 percent with four or more active social media accounts.

Pew social media usage

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project (2013) 

Overall, 71 percent of online adults use Facebook. That’s up from a year ago when 67 percent of adults reported being on Facebook. Pew also found that 63 percent of Facebook users visited the site at least once daily, with a substantial minority (40 percent) doing so multiple times per day.

Though considerably smaller, Twitter and Instagram (owned by Facebook) inspire similar engagement levels among their users. Facebook’s Instagram has the highest daily engagement after Facebook itself.

Frequency of social media site use

Pew social networking data

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project (2013) 

The highest overlapping usage is between Twitter and Facebook, followed by Instagram and Facebook. However Pew added, “there is substantial overlap” between users of Twitter and Instagram as well.

Pew social data

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project (2013) 

There were some interesting demographic differences among the users of the various networks, which are explored in the full report. Here are some top-level demographic takeaways:

  • Women are 4X likely (vs. men) to be Pinterest users
  • LinkedIn is most popular among college graduates and more affluent internet users
  • Twitter and Instagram have particular appeal to younger users, people who live in cities and “non-whites.”

For the foreseeable future at least Facebook’s leadership position in the social media universe appears secure. Yet social network diversification means that it will have to work to continue to keep users engaged. Paradoxically, however, diversification could also help Facebook, which would be the single social networking “common denominator” — the one network that everyone used.

The Pew findings are based on a telephone survey of 1,801 US adults conducted between early August and mid-September 2013.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.

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