Use of Social Media Is Not Beginning To Plateau, But Rather It Is Still Growing

According to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, social networking reached 72% of U.S. adult web users in May, 2013; an increase of 67% from December 2012,

Twitter has driven some of this growth, with the number of Twitter users rising to 18% in May, up from 8% in November 2010. While social use on Twitter as well as other social sites is most prominent among younger adult internet users, the social media audience is growing across all age/demographic groups.

Just looking at Twitter as a benchmark of social use, the percentage of internet users on Twitter more than doubled for every adult age group except those ages 65 and older, between November 2010 and May 2013, according to Pew. For users between 30 and 49 years old, penetration rose 142.9%, to reach 17%. And 30% of millennials used Twitter in May, compared with 14% in late 2010.

There are some significant differences in the demographic breakout for use on Twitter versus other social networking sites. General social use skewed female, at 74% of women vs. 70% of men. On Twitter, the breakdown was more gender neutral, with men holding a very slight advantage, at 18% penetration, vs. 17% of women.

On social networks in general, whites under-indexed slightly, with penetration 2 percentage points lower than for U.S. web users overall. But on Twitter, this was even more pronounced, with 14% of white web users on Twitter vs. 18% of the total web population. Hispanics were twice as likely as whites to participate on Twitter; black web users were just slightly behind.

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