Social Networking: A 2013 Report Card

by Dave Zornow

Once upon a time, the tools of “social networking” were a business card and a cocktail at a business mixer sponsored by an industry group or the local Chamber of Commerce. Once upon a time social networking was limited to the most outgoing movers and shakers among us, but that’s true no more: the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project says that almost 3 out of 4 Americans (73%) now use a social networking site of some kind.

And it’s not just all The Facebook, either. Although Mark Zuckerburg’s college project is still #1 when defined by registered users, more people are using more ways to virtually see and be seen.

Facebook seems to be growing up — as well as it’s audience. At one time FB was the cool place for teens to be, with that demographic being the second audience after the site was originally pitched to college students. According to a recent study by Global Web Index in the UK, daily usage of Facebook is down among users aged 16-19 in the U.S and across the globe.

According to Pew, more and more one-time FB devotees are into other social media platforms. “Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites,” cites the Pew Internet study. “In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis.”

Other Pew findings include:

  • It’s Time To Get A Life: 63% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, with 40% doing so multiple times throughout the day.
  • Women Like To Get Pinned: Pinterest holds particular appeal to female users (women are four times as likely as men to be Pinterest users)
  • Social Media Is Job #1: LinkedIn is especially popular among college graduates and internet users in higher income households.
  • Tweet, or Picture, This: Twitter and Instagram have particular appeal to younger adults, urban dwellers, and non-whites. There is substantial overlap between Twitter and Instagram user bases.

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