Half of All U.S. Adults Use Social Networks, according to Report

    August 26, 2011
    Chris Crum

Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project has put out a new report looking at stats on social networking usage.

“For the first time in our surveys, social networking use has reached 50% for all adults and 65% for adult internet users,” Senior Research Specialist Mary Madden tells WebProNews. “Among the Boomer-aged segment of internet users ages 50-64, SNS usage on a typical day grew a significant 60% (from 20% to 32%).”

On a typical day, 43% of online adults use social networking sites.

To be clear, Pew refers to social networking sites as those like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn.

When they first started looking at this data in 2005, only 8% of Internet users or 5% of all adults said they used social networking sites.

Pew Research on Social Networks

“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Madden. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

As of May, 83% of Internet users ages 18-29 use social networking sites. For 30-49 year-olds, it’s 70%. For 50-64 year-olds, it’s 51%. For 65 and older, it’s 33%.

“Social networking sites continue to cement their place as a significant part of mainstream online life,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, a Research Specialist and co-author of the report. “Even as some users find their experiences with social networking sites frustrating or overwhelming, most seem to view the services positively on the whole.”

It’s hard not to envision even more people getting sucked into the social media-sphere, as Facebook continues to deeply integrated with many sites around the web and Google continues to make a bigger impact, integrating Google+ into its spectrum of products in more ways. Then there’s Twitter and its growing popularity among young people and continues to be deeply integrated into journalism.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.