A new report (PDF) from the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that while the number of adults using social networking services like MySpace and Facebook has quadrupled in the last four years, almost two thirds of all teens use social networking sites and services. In 2005, only about 8 percent of adults were social networking users; now, that number is 35 percent…compared to 65 percent of all teens who use social networking sites.
“While media coverage and policy attention focus heavily on how children and young adults use social network sites, adults still make up the bulk of the users of these Web sites,” wrote Pew Senior Research Specialist Amanda Lenhart, in a statement. “Adults make up a larger portion of the US population than teens, which is why the 35 percent number represents a larger number of users than the 65 percent of online teens who also use online social networks.”
Not surprisingly, the study also finds that younger adults are more likely to use social networking sites than older adults: some 75 percent of adults 18 to 24 years old use social networking services, compared to just 7 percent of adults age 65 and over. But, like teens, adults seem to prefer using social networks for personal, rather than professional reasons. Some 60 percent of adult social networking users also reported restricting access to their profiles to only their friends, and 58 percent said they restrict access to at least some content in their online profiles.