Who Uses Social Media?

According to the results of a survey of 2,252 adults ages 18+ by Princeton Survey Research Associates on behalf of the Pew Internet & American Life Project:

  • Among Internet users ages 50+ overall, social network use increased from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010.
  • 10% of the 50+ cohort uses Twitter or a similar “status update” service, either to post updates or check other people’s updates.
  • Social network use among Internet users ages 50-64 surged from 25% to 47%, with 20% of this group saying they check into social networks on a daily basis — up from 10% last year.
  • The proportion of Internet users ages 65+ using social networks doubled from 13% to 26% over this period, with the number checking in daily jumping from 4% to 13%.
  • Social network use among Internet users ages 18-29 appears to be reaching saturation, growing from 76% in April 2009 to 86% in May 2010.

“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”