Social Media Usage Over The Last Decade

The social media usage and landscape for 2016… is much different than what we’ve seen… it appears that the whole industry is shifting…and the big giants are losing their momentum..


Social media usage on consumer buying behavior is growing rapidly… For affiliate marketers… social media is an outlet that can potentially be used… to help increase the interest in a product or service.


It is also a known fact that the most defining phenomena of the current times… is the increasing accessibility to the Internet. The product of this is the social media… which comes in many forms. This includes forums, blogs, and photo sharing platforms, micro blogs, social gamings…, and most of all social networks.

Over 65% of adults now use social networking sites…, which is close to a tenfold jump from the past decade.

We have taken the liberty of showing you some facts (courtesy – Pew Research Networks).

According to Pew Networks findings… they say that nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%)… now use social networking sites… up from 7% when Pew Research Center began systematically tracking social media usage in 2005.

Social Media Usage Over The Last Decade
[Source: Pew Research Center surveys, 2005-2006, 2008-2015. No data are available for 2007.]
Mentioned below is an overview of changes over time in social media by various demographic groups.

A full archive of Pew Research Center… reports on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn… as well as about social media usage on mobile devices in general can be found at Pew Research Networks

Pew Research reports have documented in great detail… how the rise of social media has affected such things as work, politicspolitical deliberationcommunications patterns around the globe.. as well as the way people get and share information about health… civic lifenews consumptioncommunities ..teenage lifeparentingdating… and even people’s level of stress.

Social Media Usage During The Past Decade.

The figures reported here are for social media usage among all adults, not just among those Americans who are internet users.

Across demographic groups, a number of trends emerge in this analysis of social media usage…

Age Demographics… There are about 90% of young adults, between the ages 18 of 29… who use social media? What is surprising that…  Usage among 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010 when only  11% used social media. Today, over 35% of 65 and above use social media, in comparison with the 2% in 2005.

And moving forward, we’re only going to see even more social media sites popping up in 2016. If you aren’t connected already, you will probably be hooked in come 2016.

Gender Demographics…  Women were considered to use social networking sites for a number of years… although the difference between the males and females since 2014 are fairly small  Today, 68% of all women use social media, compared with 62% of all men.

Socio-economic Demographics.. People with a higher level of education levels and income are ahead…  More than half (56%) of those living in the lowest-income households now use social media.. though growth has leveled off in the past few years. Likewise, those with some college experience have been consistently more likely than… those with a high school degree or less to use social media over the past decade. 2013 was the first year that…  more than half of those with a high school diploma or less used social media.

Racial and ethnic similarities… There are not notable differences by racial or ethnic group… 65% of whites, 65% of Hispanics, and 56% of African-Americans use social media today.

Community differences… More than half of rural residents now use social media… Those who live in rural areas are less likely than those in suburban and urban communities to use social media… a pattern consistent over the past decade. Today, 58% of rural residents, 68% of suburban residents, and 64% of urban residents use social media.

Social Media Usage by Age… Excessive Among Youngest Adults, Notable Among Older Adults.

Social Media Usage Over The Last Decade
[Source: Pew Research Center surveys, 2005-2006, 2008-2015. No data are available for 2007.]
Age is strongly correlated with social media usage… Those ages 18 to 29 have always been the most likely users of social media by a considerable margin. Today, 90% of young adults use social media, compared with 12% in 2005… A 78-percentage point increase. At the same time, there has been a 69-point bump among those ages 30-49… From 8% in 2005 to 77% today.

Social Media Usage By Young Adults…

While usage among young adults started to leveled off as early as 2010… Since then there has been a surge in user ship among those 65 and older. In 2005, 2% of seniors used social media, compared with 35% today.

Social Media Usage by Gender… A Shifting Balance Over Time.

In 2005, 8% of men and 6% of women used social media.

Women and Men Use Social Networking Sites at Comparable Rates.

Starting in 2009… Women started using social media at slightly higher rates than men… although this balance has shrunk yet again in recent years. Today, 68% of women and 62% of men report social media usage, a difference that is not statistically significant.

Social Media Usage by Educational Attainment.

Those who have attended at least some college are more likely than those with a high school diploma or less to use social media, a trend that has been consistent since 2005. In that year, 4% of those with a high school diploma or less used social media, along with 8% of those who attended some college and 12% of college graduates.

Those With Lower Levels of Education Are Less Likely to Use Social Media.

Currently adoption rates for social media stand at 76% for those with college or graduate degrees… 70% of those with some college education and 54% for those who have a high school diploma or less.

At the same time… the share of those with a high school diploma or less who use social media has grown more than tenfold over the past decade.

Social Media Usage by Household Income.

Those living in affluent households more likely to be social media users. There were modest differences by household income when Pew Research first began measuring social media usage in 2005: 4% of those living in households earning less than $30,000 used social media, compared with 12% of those living in household earning $75,000 or more.

Those in Higher Income Households Lead the Way.

Those differences have persisted even as each group has seen dramatic growth in usage.

Today, 78% of those living in the highest-income households use social media, compared with 56% of those in the lowest-income households – a 22-point difference.

Social Media Usage by Race/Ethnicity… Consistent Similarities.

When it comes to race and ethnicity, trends in social media adoption are defined by similarities, not differences. Whites, African-Americans and Hispanics have broadly adopted social media at the same brisk pace.

Racial Differences Not Very Evident as Social Media Usage Has Grown.

In 2005, 6% of African-Americans, 7% of whites and 10% of Hispanics used social networking sites. Today, those figures stand at 56% of African-Americans and 65% of both whites and Hispanics.

Social Media Usage by Community Type…

 More than half of adults living in rural residents now use social media.  . In 2005, 5% of rural residents, 7% of suburban residents, and 9% of urban residents reported social media usage. Today, 58% of rural residents, 68% of suburban residents, and 64% of urban residents use social media.

Rural Citizens Have Consistently Lagged Behind…

Which Social Media Sites Do You Use?

There are so many social media sites out there today, some more niche than others.

Which ones have peaked and then dived into obsolescence? Which ones are still relevant? How many social networks do you participate in? Do any of these statistics surprise you?

Love to hear your thoughts about social media usage.

Author: marketingaffiliater

Am a freelance content writer, with a passion for content marketing, copy writing and SEO. I also like to dabble with the social media, and the rest of that jazz! If not found at my laptop, I would be traced either watching live sports, movies, or trying out new recipes, or toying with metaphysics, or out playing with my dogs!

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