With much of the world’s population confined last year and forced to turn to social media to interact with their loved ones, the issue may seem legitimate and intriguing. The Pew Research Center study, which is certainly focused on the United States, gives a good indication of the answer…
Each year, the probe of the very serious Pew Research Center on the use of social media in the United States gives a particularly revealing overview of the major trends in the this field.
The 2020 edition, released on April 7, included an additional factor with the impact of the pandemic. 1,502 representative American adults responded to this survey from January 25 to February 8, 2021.
There was an expectation of an explosion of uses, due to the confinements and the restriction of traditional social activities. This was not really the case, except for Youtube (+8%) and Reddit (+7%). For the rest of the applications studied, growth was rather weak.
Among the highlights of the study, we note the persistence of YouTube on the first market of the ranking, a constant since 2018 and its integration into the survey.
Despite polemics and controversies, Facebook is resisting at second place. Unable to cross the symbolic threshold of the 70% of Americans who frequently use the platform, the network founded by Mark Zuckerberg nevertheless shows no sign of decline, at least on this global view.
Behind it is Instagram (accessed by 40% of Americans), Pinterest (31%), LinkedIn (28%), Snapchat (25%), Twitter (23%), WhatsApp (23%), TikTok (21%) and Reddit (18%).
A generational gap for Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok
Perhaps even more interesting, the data by age show a somewhat different pattern of use. Youtube remains in the lead with almost all (95%) of 18–29-year-olds using the video service.
But behind it, it is not Facebook (3rd at 70%) but… the app that also belongs to it, Instagram (71%). Snapchat is just around the corner (65%… and 2% of those over 65!!) while TikTok is steadily growing (48%).
Among the other particularities observed by social media, it should be noted that:
- LinkedIn is used much more by those with advanced education (51%) than those who do not (10%).
- Pinterest is much more popular among women (46%) than men (16%)
Facebook, always the most addictive
If we look at usage from a more detailed perspective, we see that Facebook remains the most addictive network with 70% of respondents saying they visit it every day.
Snapchat and Instagram are not far behind (59%), with a small advantage for the small yellow ghost app, which sees 45% of its users using it several times a day.
Half of YouTube visitors (54%) watch at least one video a day. Twitter is also very popular. If only 23% of Americans go to the micro-blogging platform frequently, half of the tweeters (46%) go there at least once a day.
Note that despite the pandemic, these figures are relatively stable compared to 2019.
We are now looking forward to the next edition to see if the trends observed here will continue and see (or not) the arrival of new players in this market occupied largely by the GAFA.