Social media

We 'like' looking at Facebook, Pew study suggests

Dec. 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM ET

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

Women are from Pinterest, the affluent and educated are from LinkedIn, young people dig Instagram, but pretty much everybody uses Facebook, according to a the latest social media study from the Pew Research Center. 

Nearly three-quarters of Internet users in the United States are on some form of social media, and nearly half hang out on several social networks, Pew announced on Monday. But while some of us poke around on Pinterest or look up colleagues on LinkedIn, 71 one percent of adult Internet users belong to Facebook. No surprise there, though it's not much of a boost either — up only 67 percent in late 2012. You likely won't be surprised with Pew's other Facebook finding; most Facebook users visit the site regularly. Sixty-three percent of Facebook users check in with the site daily, and 40 percent visit more than once each day.

Instagram's users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in daily. That's good news for Facebook, which purchased photo-sharing social network for a cool $1 billion last year. While only 17 percent of Internet users surveyed are on Instagram (up from 13 percent in 2012), more than half of them (57 percent) visit the site at least once a day, whether to post a pic, or check out someone else's photos. More than a third (35 percent) visit several times a day. 

The study, which looked at that "social media engagement" on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, also found that while "Facebook is popular across a diverse mix of demographic groups, other sites have developed their own unique demographic user profiles." For example:

    • More young adults and African Americans are using Instagram. According to the study, 37 percent of Instagram users are ages 18 to 29, percent (up from 28 percent in 2012) and 34 percent are African American (up from 23 percent in 2012).
    • Pew also noted an overlap between Instagram and Twitter; 53 percent of Twitter users are also on Instagram, and 53 percent of Instagram users are also on Twitter.
    • Women are four times as likely as men to be Pinterest users, but overall, only 23 percent of Pinterest users visit the site daily.
    • The older you are, the more likely you are to use LinkedIn. It's the only social network in which users ages 50 to 64 are more active than users ages 18 to 29, Pew found. What's more, LinkedIn usage is especially high among people with a college degree or higher, and among those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more. 

This year's nationwide Pew survey was conducted via telephone between August 7 to September 16, with a representative sample of 1,801 adults, ages 18 and older. The margin of sampling error is 2.6 percentage points. You can see the full report at the Pew Research Center website. 

Helen A.S. Popkin is Deputy Technology & Science editor for NBCNews.com and TODAY.Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.



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