Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

5 facts about how Americans use Facebook, two decades after its launch

Social media giant Facebook launched 20 years ago this week. Over the last two decades, the site has transformed the way people connect online, and its reach has grown to 3 billion monthly users worldwide. In recent years, lawmakers and the public in the United States and abroad have grown more critical of Facebook and its parent company, Meta.

Here are five key facts about Americans and Facebook, based on Pew Research Center surveys.

How we did this

Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to better understand Facebook use in the United States 20 years after the social media site’s launch.

More information about these surveys and their methodologies, including the sample sizes and field dates, can be found at the links in the text.

Around seven-in-ten U.S. adults (68%) say they ever use Facebook, a share that has remained relatively flat since 2016, according to a survey conducted between May and September 2023.

With the exception of YouTube – used by 83% of adults – no other social media platform comes close to Facebook in usage. Roughly half of adults (47%) report using Instagram, while around a third use Pinterest (35%) and TikTok (33%). About three-in-ten each say they use LinkedIn (30%), WhatsApp (29%) and Snapchat (27%). Smaller shares use X (formerly called Twitter), Reddit and BeReal. Meta owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

A line chart showing that Americans' Facebook use has remained flat since 2016.

Facebook is popular among all demographic groups, though some adults are more likely to use it than others, the same survey shows. Adults who are more likely to use Facebook include:

  • Women: 76% of women use the platform, compared with 59% of men.
  • Bachelor’s degree holders: 70% of adults with a four-year degree or more education use it, compared with 63% of those who have a high school diploma or less.
A bar chart showing that women and college grads are more likely to use Facebook.

Three-in-ten Americans say they regularly get news from Facebook, according to a fall 2023 survey. The share of adults who regularly turn to Facebook for news is higher than the shares who turn to other platforms, including YouTube (26%), Instagram (16%) and TikTok (14%).

Among Facebook users, 43% say they regularly get news from the site, down from 54% who said this in 2020.

Facebook news consumers are:

  • Mostly women: 62% of those who regularly get news from the site are women, compared with 37% who are men.
  • Older than news consumers on some other major social media sites: 22% of adults who regularly get news on Facebook are under 30, a much lower share than on TikTok (44%), Instagram (42%) and X (36%).
  • Evenly divided politically: 47% are Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, while 46% are Democrats or Democratic leaners.

A third of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, according to a fall 2023 survey of U.S. teens. That’s down sharply from the 71% in this age group who said they used the platform in a 2014-15 survey.

Today’s teens tend to gravitate toward other social media platforms, including YouTube (93% of teens use it), TikTok (63%), Snapchat (60%) and Instagram (59%).

A line chart showing that teen Facebook use has dropped sharply over the last decade.

Teens in some demographic groups are more likely to use Facebook, according to the fall 2023 survey. For instance, 45% of teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use the site, compared with 27% of those whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.

Girls and older teens are also more likely than those in other groups to say they use the platform. Teens living in rural areas use the platform at a higher rate than those living in the suburbs. Urban teens’ use of Facebook does not significantly differ from either of these groups.

A bar chart showing that a third of U.S. teens ever use Facebook.

Note: This is an update of a post published on June 1, 2021.