April 2010 Data on Social Media Use

Accordomg t0 the findings of the Harris Poll, conducted online between April 28 and 30, 2010, among 2,131 U.S. adults ages 18 and over.

  • 64% of online Americans use social media
  • 84% of  social media users reveal information about themselves via social media channels
  • Americans share:
    • updates about their life (43%)
    • what they are currently doing (36%)
    • places they are going (31%),
    • their dissatisfaction with companies, brands or products (26%)
    • talking about companies, brands or products they like (23%)
    • giving product reviews and recommendations (19%) 
  • 38% of online adults say they aim to influence others when expressing their preferences online
  • 46% feel they can be brutally honest on the Internet.

Online Americans:

  • 43% of those 55 and older
  • 78% of 18-34 year olds
  • 71% of 35-44 year olds
  • 59% of 45-54 year olds

Sharing Brand, Company or Product Recommendations via Social Media

All age groups who use social media are equally likely to share their dissatisfaction with a company, brand or product via social media

  • 25% of those 18-34 years old
  • 26% of those 35-44 years old
  • 25% of those 45-54 years old
  • 29% of those aged 55 and up

Nearly half of Americans who use social media say reviews about a particular company, brand or product from friends or people they follow on social networking websites influence them either a great deal or a fair amount (45%) – the same number as Americans who say reviews in newspaper or magazine articles influence them (46%).

Younger Generations Aim to Be Heard Online

Many people who express their preferences online intend to influence others. Nearly two in five online adults (38%) say they aim to influence others when they express their opinions online, including nearly half of 18-34 year olds (45%). In fact, it seems 18-34 year olds are less hesitant to voice their opinions, as half (51%) say they feel like they can be brutally honest on the Internet, compared to two in five of both 45-54 year olds (41%) and those 55 and up (40%). Additionally, over two in five 18-34 year olds (44%) have used social media as an outlet to rant or rave about a company, brand or product-much more so than those 55 and up (16%).