Facebook dominates in US rush to social networking

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  • Thursday, 02 Jan 2014

STILL TOPS: A Pew Research Center survey found 73% of Americans over age 18 on the Internet use at least one social network

WASHINGTON: The surge into social networks is gaining pace among Americans, with Facebook dominating but with many people using multiple platforms, a study showed Monday. 

A Pew Research Center survey found 73% of Americans over age 18 on the Internet use at least one social network — or about 63% of the total adult population. 

Facebook is the preferred network, used by 71% of online adults, or 57% of all American adults, according to Pew researchers. 

However other platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter are making gains, and a growing number of people are using multiple social networks. 

Pew found that 42% of Internet users (or 34% of all American adults) use two or more of the five most popular social networks. 

Use of Facebook rose to 71% of online adults from 67% a year ago, the study found. 

A large part of the growth for Facebook came from older Americans: Roughly 45% of Internet users over 65 are using Facebook, up from 35% in late 2012. 

Four other social networks, including Facebook-owned Instagram, are battling for the number two spot for US users. 

LinkedIn is used by 22% of online American adults and is especially popular among college graduates and those in higher income households. That is up from 20% a year earlier. 

Pinterest usage grew sharply to 21% of online adults, from 15% a year ago. Pew said that women are four times as likely as men to be users of the bulletin-board style social media platform. 

Some 18% of online adults use Twitter, up from 16% a year ago, Pew said, with adoption levels particularly high among younger adults and African-Americans. 

Instagram use rose to 17% of online adults from 13% a year ago, according to the survey. Much of this growth came in the 18 to 29 age bracket and among African-Americans. 

Pew found that Facebook and Instagram drew high levels of "user engagement," with a majority of users checking in on a daily basis. 

Some 63% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, and 40% do so multiple times throughout the day. 

That compares with 57% of Instagram users who visit the site at least once a day and 46% of Twitter users. 

The researchers also found considerable overlap among the leading social networks. For example, 93% of Instagram users also use Facebook, as do 83% of LinkedIn members. 

Some 53% of Twitter users also use Instagram, and 53% of Instagram users use Twitter, the survey found. 

The report is based on telephone interviews conducted from August 7 to September 16 among 1,801 adults age 18 and older. For the total group, the margin of error is estimated at 2.6 percentage points and 2.9 points for Internet users. — ©AFP/Relaxnews 2013 

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