Nearly Three Quarters Of Online Adults Use Social Networking
August 5, 2013

Nearly Three Quarters Of Online Adults Use Social Networking

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

When Facebook first launched in 2004, it only allowed students from certain Universities to find friends, write on walls and peruse pictures. In the earliest days, Facebook and other social networking sites were seen as a young person's game, something only those with the spare time to spend online took part of.

These days businesses use social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and more to engage with the world, bringing the era of social networking into the adult world.

Now, a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project claims 72 percent of American adults aged 18 and above are using some form of social networking. The group has been monitoring social networking usage since 2005 and say there has been "substantial growth" since the earliest days. In just the past four years, for instance, the number of older adults (aged 65 and above) has tripled from 13 percent to 43 percent. Last October the Pew Group also found that 50 percent of all adults between 50 and 64 actively used a social media site of some form.

Curiously, the Pew survey separates Twitter from the scrum of other social networking sites and lists these numbers individually. After surveying 2,252 adults, they found 18 percent are using Twitter, double the number of users when they first asked in November 2010.

Adult usage of social networking sites, which includes college students aged 18 and over, has continually grown since 2005; though the most intense growth occurred between 2005 and 2009. Between 2005 and 2010, the percentage of adult social network users grew from just eight percent to over 60 percent.

Since then growth has only increased another 12 percentage points to 72 percent. But while the growth appears to be slowing, this number still represents a hefty majority.

Though the number of adults continues to rise, Pew points out that the majority of users are young. Older users, however, aged between 50 and 65 and older, are increasing their usage as social network continues to rise in popularity.

A strong 89 percent of adults between 18 and 29 years old reported using social sites, while another 78 percent of those participants between 30 and 49 years of age also said they used the networking sites.

According to Pew's latest survey, six out of every ten adults between 50 and 64 are also on Facebook and other sites. Another 43 percent of adults aged 65 and above also say they're on these sites, keeping in touch with friends and family.

Pew has repeatedly found that young adults are the driving force behind social networking adoption. Going deeper, they found young women are fueling much of this growth as they interact and share with their friends on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

According to the Pew's February 2013 survey, 67 percent of Facebook users aged 18-29 are women. Pinterest doesn't have near the numbers as Facebook, but according to this study, 25 percent of all of its users were women. Only five percent of these users are men. The overall number of young social networking adults has also increased since this February survey, from 83 percent to the current 89 percent.

The latest survey also found Twitter usage is on the rise, doubling in the past three years. Young adults are also the primary users on this site, with 30 percent of those aged 18-29 sending Tweets to one another. Only five percent of those adults aged 65 and over use the microblogging site.