The percentage of Americans age 12 and older who have a profile on one or more social networking sites has reached almost half (48%) of the population in 2010, double the amount from two years ago (24% in 2008), according to a new survey from Arbitron and Edison Research.
The study found the use of social networking sites is not just for the young. While 78 percent of teens and 77 percent of those 18 to 24 have profile pages, 65 percent of those 25 to 34 and half of those 35 to 44 (51%) also have profile pages. The study found 30 percent of Americans who have a profile on at least one social networking site, visit them "several times a day" compared to only 18 percent on year ago.
"The use of social networking sites has expanded beyond younger consumers, with substantial numbers of Americans over the age of 35 now using social media," said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc.
For the first time, more Americans say the Internet is "most essential" to their lives when given a choice along with television, radio, and newspapers. Forty-two percent said the Internet was the "most essential," while 37 percent chose television, 14 percent radio, and 5 percent newspapers. While television still leads among those over the age of 45, Internet dominates among those 12 to 24.
Sixty-two percent of homes with Internet access have wireless networks in their homes, allowing for more convenient consumption of digital media in any room.
Nearly half of mobile phone owners (45%) text multiple times a day. Three quarters of teens (75%) and those 18 to 24 (76%) text multiple times a day compare with nearly two thirds (63%) of those 25 to 34.
Growth of residential broadband has leveled off with 84 percent of home with Internet access having broadband connections. The slower growth of residential broadband is associated with little year over year change in weekly usage of online radio (17 percent) and online video (29 percent). The study indicated the expanded use of mobile devices and in-car Internet may bring about the next wave of growth.