A new Pew Research Center survey finds that 35 percent of US adults use Instagram — an increase of 7 percent from 2016. Other findings confirm most of what we’ve come to know of other social media platforms: Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter tend to be more popular among the young crowd, especially 18 to 24-year-olds. YouTube is the most popular online platform, used by 73 percent of all US adults and 94 percent of those ages 18 to 24. That means virtually all college-aged people consistently watch videos on YouTube.
Facebook also remains at the top of the social media popularity totem pole for most people except those age 65 and above. Its usage has grown since Pew started its surveys in 2012, although the number of US adult Facebook users remains unchanged from 2016 at 68 percent. The number of daily users also remains steady, dipping two percentage points from last year’s survey of 76 percent of Facebook users to 74 percent of Facebook users.
Twitter has seen mild improvement to its numbers, with 24 percent of US adults now on the service, compared to 2016’s number of 21 percent.
Demographics of U.S. adults who use Twitter
Ages 18-29: 40%
High school or less: 18%
Some college: 25
Suburban: 23March 2, 2018
The typical American surveyed uses three out of the eight social media platforms listed as choices in the survey; The Pew survey looked at Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter usage tends to drop off for adults who reach their mid to late 20s, and that trend is especially true for Snapchat. While 78 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are Snapchat users, the number falls down to 54 percent of those aged 25 to 29.
Although social media users operate multiple platforms and check these apps and sites daily, only 3 percent of users said they had a lot of trust in the information found on these platforms. Most had little confidence in the platforms’ ability to protect their personal information from bad actors. The findings echo a similar survey conducted by The Verge last fall , where Facebook and Twitter topped the list of social networksmost distrusted by consumers.