Pew Internet has released its latest findings on what social media users looked like in 2012. Five major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr – were all profile, and their specific demographics investigated.
Before we delve into how each social network was performing in terms of the numbers and types of users it garnered, it’s important to remember that false accounts are a very real dilemma for any social network. Fake accounts are almost impossible to completely eradicate, and clearly these skew growth results. And along these lines, the number of people Pew has polled is rather small, so do take the results with a proverbial grain of salt.
Facebook is hands down the largest social network and boasts over 1.1 billion users, based on its latest publicly revealed data. What we can figure out from the data is that women dominate the site, and the study states that “Facebook use is especially common among younger adults.”
Pew says that more Internet users are on Twitter than in 2010; 16 percent of Internet users are now have accounts. This social network slightly tilts in favor of more male users, who are black, and between the ages of 18 and 29.
Of the 1,802 Internet users polled, 15 percent of users said that they were on the visual social network. Looking at the data deeper, we can see that Pew’s study backs up the results from previous research about the social network. This social network skews heavily in favor of more female users (no surprises here), and half of the users were white. With this conclusion, we could see that there were far more college educated users, with a salary between $50,000 and $75,000. Pinterest might be the mainstream platform where the upper echelon of society (who are female) tends to hang out.
On the heels of the Pinterest finding, Pew found that Instagram users were also more likely to be female and that there are a higher percentage of black and Hispanic users than white users. Paralleling other the other social networks profiled here, users tend to be younger (between 18 and 29), and there isn’t a significant difference between education levels to draw a clear picture on how educated its users are, but we get the sense that the forerunning users are still in college, which is a stat we can back up by looking at the household income level. More users earned fewer than $30,000 per year than other income brackets. This is a pattern expected from college students, who typically don’t have disposable income other than cash from a part-time gig or an allowance from parents.
Tumblr is the least used among the social networks covered in the study with just six percent of study participants using the social blogging platform. But, the bulk of its userbase were of course between the 18 and 29 age bracket.