This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.
Social networks are here to stay, and they're constantly evolving. Globally, more than 2.8 billion people — or 37% of the world's population — use social media, but the way those users interact with each other, and the platforms they adopt, vary widely.
In the US market, gender, income, and education level have little impact on whether an individual has adopted social networking as an activity. Age does remain a factor — younger internet users tend to be more likely to engage in social networking overall, and adopt specific social platforms.
While social platforms offer tools that let marketers target particular audience segments, advertisers must track how these audience bases — and their behaviors — are shifting. Nearly 70% of US adults use at least one social media site, according to Pew Research Center, up from 60% in 2013 and 50% in 2010.
In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence highlights the key audience demographics for six major social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It examines multiple dimensions of change within each platform's demographic makeup — including age, income, education, gender, and overall adoption in terms of online adults in the US — and assesses how certain segments of the US population have adapted their social media behaviors. The report also explores how much time each age demographic is investing on each platform.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- US Facebook users aged 45-54 are spending more time on Facebook, and represent 21% of the total time spent on the platform, more than any other age group.
- The age composition of Snapchat users in the US has become more evenly distributed over the past year, and it appears the company is doing a better job of attracting older users.
- Teens are starting to use a category of social media called "digital hangouts." These are apps that enable users to video chat with several friends simultaneously. Over 60% of users on Houseparty, one of the most popular digital hangout apps, are under 24 years old.
- LinkedIn is popular among high-income users. Forty-five percent of US adult internet users with an income higher than $75,000 annually are on LinkedIn, making it more popular among this demographic than Instagram (31%), Pinterest (35%), or Twitter (30%).
In full, the report:
- Breaks down the reach of social platform audiences in terms of age, income, education, and gender.
- Examines how time spent and monthly users across major age brackets have changed in the past three years.
- Explores the preferences of US teens and young millennials, and how they're changing.
- Identifies the most important demographic changes that advertisers should monitor as social platforms continue to grow.
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