American's continue to spend more time on social networks

We’re Spending More Time on Social Networks


UPDATE: January 9, 2015 – Time on Social Networks Still Increasing

Pew Research Study Social Network Usage Stats

From the Pew Research Center Study on Usage of Social Networks:

In a new survey conducted in September 2014, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site. While its growth has slowed, the level of user engagement with the platform has increased. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn saw significant increases over the past year in the proportion of online adults who now use their sites.

The results in this report are based on American adults who use the internet. Other key findings:

  • Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users.
  • For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. This represents 31% of all seniors.
  • For the first time, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram. And half 0f all Instagram users (49%) use the site daily.
  • For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%.
  • Women dominate Pinterest: 42% of online women now use the platform, compared with 13% of online men.

Nearly a quarter of the time Americans are online is spent on social networking sites according to The Nielsen Company’s June 2010 study, What Americans Do Online, released August 2.  Time spent on social networks grew by 43% from levels reported in June 2009.

One reason?  So many more people continue to join social networks – especially Facebook.

Oregon is a good example.  Last month, blogger Nick Burcher posted state-by-state numbers showing the growth in Facebook members from July 2008 to July 2010.

In July 2008, 242,500 Oregonians were active on Facebook.  That grew to 815,660 by July 2009.  This July, Facebook reports 1,648,820 members in Oregon – a growth of 102% over last year and 580% over 2008.

It’s unlikely the number of Oregonians on Facebook will double again by next summer.  While 2010 census data aren’t yet available, the July 1, 2009 estimate of Oregon’s total population was 3,823,465.

Based on those data, more than 43% of all Oregonians now have a Facebook page.  Compare that to the 14% of Oregonians who read one of Oregon’s 18 daily newspapers.

Neilsen reports Americans are spending 906 million hours a month on social networks.  Online gaming now occupies the second biggest block, up by 10% from 2009.  But people are spending 28% less time on email, which slipped to third place.

If it wasn’t evident before, social networking is changing how people connect with one another.  If brands and businesses want to engage their customers, it’s clear where they can find them online.

3 replies
  1. David Mayer
    David Mayer says:

    Thanks for this article Pat. I knew that social media was having an incredible impact on media and PR, but I didn’t realize the growth was as impressive as it really is! It’s great to have these numbers from Nielson to back that up.

    One of the most significant takeaways I see from this, is that our culture has drastically changed the way it consumes media. People don’t want to just be "spectators," they want to be "participants." Consumers no longer want to just consume what the media provides, they want to influence what is out there.

    This is certainly an exciting time to be a Public Relations Professional. It seems like for many years, people outside the profession focused on the messages that PR could get across, and ignore the aspect of PR that is supposed to listen to its publics. Now it is impossible for anyone to ignore that listening dynamic because your bublics are out there and they will find ways to be heard if you’re not actively listening!

    Thanks again for the great read.

  2. Greg Parker
    Greg Parker says:

    Let me ponder that: three times more Oregonians have a Facebook page than read a daily newspaper.

  3. Pat McCormick
    Pat McCormick says:

    That IS the point to ponder, Greg. As we consider how to connect with Oregonians, traditional media relations reaches a shrinking percentage while more people are choosing social media to talk and listen to what’s going on from sources they trust – or at least sources they choose.

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