Who is using social media and how?

By Mackenzie Mills, writing intern

Social media has become all the rage in the last decade, and the popular apps used by millions of people daily do not seem to be going away anytime soon. As a 22-year-old, social media consumes a lot of my life. I probably spend at least 5 hours a day trolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

The intriguing aspect of social media though is that it has grown immensely, and is used for businesses, marketing, and is even a platform for what are now called “influencers.” What I was interested in was finding out how many people use social media, and what apps are most popular.  

Cell phone with social media apps displayed

Who uses social media?

According to Ignite Visibility, “81% of the U.S. population has a social media account. That amounts to about 264 million people.” Holy cow, that is a high number. But how many of those people are high school or college-aged students? Well, Ignite Visibility also states, “According to that research, 90% of 18 to 29-year-olds have a social media account. But that percentage drops as respondents advanced in age.”

So, it makes sense that the younger generations are the ones most often on social media. As you grow up and have a job and a family, constantly checking and posting on social media becomes sort of mundane. Pew Research Center records the numbers outside the 18-29-year-old demographic to be “…78% among those ages 30 to 49, to 64% among those ages 50 to 64 and to 37% among Americans 65 and older.”

One thing I want to mention is how social media apps are influencing our generation. Businesses use digital marketing to promote and sell their products through these popular apps. They can use ads and other promoting techniques to appeal to consumers online. This is one contribution to what apps are used more frequently. 

What are the popular/most used apps?

So, of the 81% of social media users, what is the app they use the most? Drum roll please…. you may have guessed it, but the most used social media app is Facebook.  According to the Pew Research Center, these are the top used social media apps:

  • YouTube at 73%
  • Facebook at 68%
  • Instagram at 35%
  • Pinterest at 29%
  • Snapchat at 27%
  • LinkedIn at 25%
  • Twitter at 24%

Let us note that although this list shows YouTube as the leading app, Business2Community says, “2018 marked the year that the Facebook website fell behind YouTube in popularity. Of course, including app usage, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform.”

I think it is important to be aware of how much of an impact social media has on our day to day lives and how we can use them to our advantage. Whether you are using it to post updates for your friends or family, or you are promoting and selling your business or product, know that social media apps are changing the game, and will continue to grow in the years ahead.

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