Today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves. Explore the patterns and trends shaping the social media landscape over the past decade below.
Social media use over time
When Pew Research Center began tracking social media adoption in 2005, just 5% of American adults used at least one of these platforms. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 72% of the public uses some type of social media.
Who uses social media
As more Americans have adopted social media, the social media user base has also grown more representative of the broader population. Young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years.
Which social media platforms are most popular
YouTube and Facebook are the most-widely used online platforms, and its user base is most broadly representative of the population as a whole. Smaller shares of Americans use sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Who uses each social media platform
Usage of the major social media platforms varies by factors such as age, gender and educational attainment.
How often Americans use social media sites
For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Instagram users – visit these sites at least once a day.
Find out more
Follow these links for more in-depth analysis of the impact of social media on American life.
10 facts about Americans and Facebook May 16, 2019
Social media usage in the U.S. in 2019 April 10, 2019
Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life May 2, 2018
Americans’ complicated feelings about social media in an era of privacy concerns March 27, 2018
Social Media Use in 2018 March 1, 2018
The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online Oct. 19, 2017
The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online March 29, 2017
All reports and blog posts related to social media.