Facebook remains the undisputed, and really, uncontested champion of social networking. While Instagram might have received a lot of attention for climbing the ranks and passing Twitter’s total number of users – no social network captures their audience quite like Facebook. The headline figure that came from the research conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that 71% of adults who are “online” use Facebook – compared to LinkedIn and Pinterest – who tied for number two, capturing just 28% of “online” adults this past year. Behind those two were Instagram and Twitter – who garnered just 26% and 23% respectively.
While those numbers might seem uninteresting, and the fact that Facebook’s growth really has slowed down to a standstill – the study also found that engagement was significantly up on Facebook, which has kept the social network ahead of foes like Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. However, multi-platform usage was actually very common. The study found that over half of adults who are “online” utilize two or more social networks. That ultimately speaks to the diversification of social networking platforms.
When comparing each social network side-by-side, the two most-comparable networks would likely be Facebook and Twitter – yet even those two social networks have different audiences and usage significantly, now that the social networks have had years to grow and evolve. However, for those who are fans of Facebook – Instagram’s growing dominance in the social networking space is both a blessing and curse. Since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012, Facebook has seen a very slow growth, and over the last two years, – has become completely flat. Meanwhile, Instagram has doubled its usage since the acquisition coming from 13% of adults in 2012 – to 26% of adults in the same period.
Facebook captured 71% of online adults remaining flat from the previous year. LinkedIn and Pinterest both saw 28% of online adults rising from 22% and 21% respectively in the previous year. While Instagram and Twitter saw 26% and 23% of online adults using their platform compared to 17% and 18% respectively in the previous year.
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However, while Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have gotten a lot of attention over the last several months, and even throughout 2014 – perhaps the most interesting piece of information that was learned from the study was that in terms of ‘percentage of users’ Pinterest actually saw the greatest improvement from 2012 to 2014. The numbers representing Facebook’s overall engagement with users might be the most interesting number that comes from the entire study. 70% of users engage with Facebook on a daily basis, and 45% of those users engage on Facebook several times a day, the study found. Facebook has achieved truly mainstream success, across the board.
Specifically, this is seen with the number of online adults who are 65 and older. 56% of online seniors use Facebook, and that is a number that really isn’t touched by any other social network. It is hard to deny though that all of the social networks are growing as they find their audience and find their application more specifically. All of the social networks saw increases in 2014 with regards to use amongst those online users.