Social media is no longer just the realm of the young.
Now, older sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest have more users in the 25-to-34 age bracket than ages 16 to 24, according to data from GlobalWebIndex. YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr are among the few social networks that skew younger, with teenagers and early 20-somethings accounting for more users than any other demographic.
Social demographics are shifting. Men are growing their lead on Twitter, while Instagram is becoming more gender-balanced.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we unpack data from over a dozen sources to understand how social media demographics are still shifting. For brands and advertisers, who's on the different social networks has a big impact on where they focus their social marketing efforts.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from the BI Intelligence report:
- Facebook still skews significantly female. Women in the U.S. are more likely to use Facebook than men by about 10 percentage points, according to a 2013 survey of social network adoption.
- Facebook remains the top social network for U.S. teens. Nearly half of teen Facebook users say they're using the site more than last year, and Facebook has more daily teen users than any other social network.
- That said, Instagram has edged out Facebook and Twitter in terms of prestige among young users. U.S. teens now describe Instagram as "most important," while Facebook and Twitter lost ground on this measure, according to Piper Jaffray's twice yearly teen survey. The survey also found that 83% of U.S. teens in wealthy households were on Instagram.
- LinkedIn is actually more popular than Twitter among U.S. adults. LinkedIn's core demographic are those aged between 30 and 49, i.e. those in the prime of their career-rising years. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn also has a pronounced skew toward well-educated users.
- Twitter has begun to lean worryingly toward male users, whereas previously it was a more gender-balanced social network. Pew found that 22% of men use Twitter, while only 15% of women do.
- YouTube reaches more adults aged 18 to 34 than any single cable TV network. Nearly half of people in this age group visited YouTube between December 2013 and February 2014, according to Nielsen. It was rated by millennials as the top place to watch content, ahead of digital and TV properties like Facebook and ESPN.
- Snapchat is the youngest social network of all. More than six out of 10 Snapchat users are in the 18-to-24 age group, compared to 28% of Instagram users, according to a survey by Informate.
In full, the report:
- Looks at overall social networking adoption in the U.S. and globally
- Assesses the most important demographic skews at the top social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr
- Examines whether Facebook is losing out on teen and millennial users as sites like Instagram grow
- Compares how demographics have changed over time as older social networks have matured
- Identifies the social networks that have become more and less gender-skewed in the last year
- Digs into demographics at top social messaging apps, including Snapchat
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