Identifying Today’s Facebook Users

By a large margin, Facebook is the most prominent social media platform and has become a significant presence in Americans’ personal and, frequently, business lives. With calls from one of its founders to break up the tech giant that it is a monopoly, Pew Research has shared a selection of results from surveys it conducted in 2018 and 2019 outlining who makes up Facebook’s user-base today.

Survey data shows that 69 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook. This share hasn’t changed much since 2016, and is up from 54 percent in 2012. Among social media platforms, only YouTube, at 73 percent, rivals Facebook. Among adults who use Facebook, 74 percent say they use it at least once a day. The share of users visiting the site at least once a day outpace Instagram (63 percent) and Snapchat (61 percent) by a fair margin.

Breaking down Facebook users demographically, 75 percent of U.S. adult women use the site, compared to 63 percent of men. Also, around 74 percent of adults with college degrees use Facebook, compared to 61 percent of those with a high school diploma or less, and 79 percent of those ages 18 to 29 use Facebook, compared to 46 percent of those 65 and older. However, the share of older Americans on the platform has more than doubled since 2012.

And while 51 percent of those ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, this is down significantly from the 71 percent recorded in Pew Research’s 2014-2015 survey. Among this age group today, Facebook is outpaced by YouTube (85 percent), Instagram (72 percent) and Snapchat (69 percent). Pew has found that U.S. teens’ social media preferences don’t vary much by demographics, but in the case of Facebook, its data shows that lower-income teens—those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year—are more likely to use the platform than their wealthier peers—71 percent versus 36 percent of those with an annual family income of $75,000 or more.

Facebook serves as the primary news source for 46 percent of U.S. adults—outpacing YouTube (21 percent), Twitter (12 percent), Instagram (eight percent), LinkedIn (six percent) and other channels. However, they’re use of the site is changing. In the past 12 months, 54 percent have adjusted their privacy settings and 42 percent have taken a break from the checking the site for several weeks or more, while 26 percent have deleted the app from their phone.

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