Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Demographics of Popular Social Media Sites...

Depending on the social circles one travels in, people can formulate very different perceptions about the extent to which online social media has infiltrated the cultural mainstream.  A report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project offers some insight on the demographical usage behind some of the more popular sites.

For starters:
  • 66% of all online adults use Facebook
  • 20% use LinkedIn
  • 16% use Twitter
Breaking down some of the demographic data:
  • 12% of online adults say they use Pinterest, which is dominated by women. Nearly a fifth of online women (19%) use Pinterest.
  • 12% of online adults say they use Instagram, which is dominated by young adults. Some 27% of the internet users between ages 18-29 use Instagram.
  • 5% of online adults say they use Tumblr. Some 11% of young adults use Tumblr.
What's perhaps the most interesting thing the report offers, though, is its approach of considering Internet users either "Creators" or "Curators", and that photos and videos have become key social currencies online.

Apparently, 46% of adult Internet users are creators because they post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created.  41% of adult Internet users are curators because they take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people.  Overall, 56% of Internet users do at least one of these creating or curating activities and 32% of Internet users do both creating and curating activities.

What's striking and memorable in this report is the data on second-tier sites like Tumblr and Pinterest.  Too much research, at least in the social sciences, focuses on the behemoths that are Facebook, Google, and Twitter.  Seeing information being generated on some second-tier sites is refreshing, to say the least.


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