Thursday, March 7, 2013

Which social media do you use? Part 2

The last time I blogged about social media, it was to discuss its increasing fragmentation and the new networks that are springing up that appeal to specific niche targets.  

Here’s the blog in case you missed it.

This time we have new research from the Pew Research Center about demographics for the more established social networks.  

According to their data:

  • Facebook skews older than Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumbler – 35% of users are 65+
  • City dwellers are significantly more likely than rural residents to be on Twitter
  • Women are five times as likely as men to use Pinterest; and those women are more educated and affluent than average
  • Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to use Instagram
  • Tumblr appeals most to the younger segment – 18-29 

What do you think?  Are your social media habits consistent with the research?  How about your friends and acquaintances? 

Moses, L. (2013, March 6)  Blacks and Hispanics Are More Likely Than Whites to Use Twitter.  Retrieved March 6, 2013, from

Duggan, M. and Brenner, J. (2013, February 14)  The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012.  Pew Research Center.  Retrieved March 6, 2013, from


  1. I'm a true fan of social media and have been on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare for several years now. Each network appeals to a certain audience and demographic so its completely logical that data skews more in one direction than the other. Whenever I look at Facebook and Twitter the two sites are completely different yet the same in many ways. Facebook moves at a much slower rate than Twitter because of its microblog platform a given user is only afforded 140 characters to communicate to the world. And for that reason, I believe Facebook appeals to a more settled user who may not have as much to share (or would like to share). Facebook also has this voyeur element that's appealing; it's like the weekly Sunday visit without actually going anywhere other than to log on to your computer.

  2. If I use my multi generational family as an example - everyone is on Facebook. My mother and father are both on Facebook ages 77 and 76 respectively. I am on Facebook,Pinterest and LinkedIn - I'm 55. My husband age 57 does not care about these things and does not belong to any type of social media. My older daughter age 26 uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. My younger daughter, 22 uses Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

    As Yahya said, each site offers different things and the usage has to do with how immediate you need your information. I use Facebook more of a fun place to see and share what everyone is doing. I receive invitations to events this way.

    I, the Baby Boomer, would love to use LinkedIn to its fullest capacity.

    I agree with city dwellers using Twitter the most - they are out and about and can comment on anything they see and feel.

    Susan DiBello

  3. I find this stats to be very interesting. I being a black 23 year old female, I started with Facebook but am now a heavier user of Instagram. I cannot figure out twitter, but I still have an active account. I use pinterest from time to time and have never used Tumblr before.

    I would say that my social habits are consistent to the research in everything except Tumblr.

    My friends on the other hand, as far as I'm aware, use every social network except Tumblr.

    The reason I do not have a Twitter account, like Yahya said, is because it moves too fast for me. I cannot get a grasp of it. There is too much going on at once I feel. It's like the feeling I get when I walk into a department store, overwhelmed and confused.

  4. I have definitely noticed the concentration of Twitter users in urban settings. Most of my friends from home (a small town in Maryland) are only active on Facebook while the majority of my peers at NYU are using Twitter as well. There seems to be a connection between the fast paced city environment and the short, speedy messages that are disseminated via the Twitter feed.

    Personally, I am only active on Facebook, although I have recently made a LinkedIn profile and hope to become active on there as well. As a young white male, the data above is somewhat consistent with my own habits--I have never used Pinterest or Instagram (though I've never really used Twitter either).

  5. Jonathan D'ErricoMarch 11, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Ironically, my social media patterns align exactly with the data. I'm interested in what has made pintrest so heavily dominated by females, and if this was intentioned by its creators. It seems like Pintrest could be a ripe arena for the women's service magazines to develop some great marketing tactics, as the target audience pool has already been significantly narrowed given the demographics of the platform.

    I am not surprised by the urban community favoring twitter - perhaps it is the faster pace of life (as compared to my suburban upbringing) or that urban city dwellers are constantly surrounded by more people (and advertisements), which lends itself well to twitter.

  6. Everything makes sense to me with the exception of Instagram. Lots of my Facebook "friends" use it because it's a cool way to distort photos. I don't see one race using it more than another. Now they may not necessarily be active on Instagram, but they have accounts and post instagrammed images onto Facebook without having a direct link to the site.

    I've noticed Pinterest primarily appeals to my women friends as opposed to men. There is something about pinning unique, "pretty" pictures. I tend to see a lot of female friendly images that have been pinned. (Even though I don't have an account, I see this activity on Facebook.)

    Personally, I barely use any social networking anymore mostly because I'm irritated by how impersonal it's all gotten. Linkedin is something I want to be more active on, solely to make more professional connections. I am thinking of deactivating my Facebook account but who are we kidding, I'll probably reactivate in no time. It was fun site to use when it was just limited to college students--I was one of the first people to join in 2004 as freshman in college. Now, it just feels very overwhelming and competitive: whose doing what with their lives and let's judge!

  7. I totally agree with everything in this article. Actually I was a University student(still undergraduate) in Tokyo, so I had lived in there for 3 years.My friends in my hometown don't use Facebook or if they make accounts, they don't use often. on the other hand, ones in Tokyo, they use every single day.They often post articles with photos and check how many "like' or comments they get.I think that they think it is important to show their life and want others to think they enjoy their lives.They really concern about how much happy they look,at least my friend in Tokyo do.
    Here is a funny thing, before I went to a fancy restaurant with my friend and we ordered some nice dishes.And the dishes were served, she started to photos of that. The dishes were getting cold and I said to her "Let's start to eat! It's better to eat in hot!"
    She said "No, I want to get the best shot to post on Facebook!"

    It was kind of stupid thing because we went to the fancy restaurant to enjoy the meals, but for her it was more important to post the photos for letting others know she went there and think she enjoyed those.

    Satoko Hirano