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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 common

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.

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.

How often Americans use social media sites

For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Seven-in-ten Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Instagram and Snapchat 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.

Social Media Use in 2021 April 7, 2021
Partisan differences in social media use show up for some platforms, but not Facebook April 7, 2021
10 facts about Americans and Facebook June 1, 2021
7 facts about Americans and Instagram October 7, 2021

All reports and blog posts related to social media.

CORRECTION (Jan. 11, 2022): A figure from a 2012 survey was previously incorrect in the “Who uses social media” chart. In February 2012, 81% of U.S. adults ages 18-29 said they use at least one social media site. No report of the Pew Research Center was affected by this change.