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Survey on use of Social Networking sites

February 2nd, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Interesting results from the latest Pew Internet survey on adults use of social networking sites in the United States (I wish we had a European equivalent). The survey found:

  • 79% of American adults used the internet in 2009, up from 67% in Feb. 2005
  • 46% of online American adults 18 and older use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 8% in February 2005.
  • 65% of teens 12-17 use online social networks as of Feb 2008, up from 58% in 2007 and 55% in 2006.
  • As of August 2009, Facebook was the most popular online social network for American adults 18 and older.
  • 10-12% are on “other” sites like Bebo, Last.FM, Digg, Blackplanet, Orkut, Hi5 and Match.com?

Of adult SNS users:

  • 73% have a Facebook account
  • 48% have a MySpace profile
  • 14% have an account on LinkedIn
  • 1% each on Yahoo, YouTube, Tagged, Flickr and Classmates.com

Overall there is nothing particularly surprising in the results. The survey shows just how hegemonic Facebook has become in terms of social networking sites. I am a little surprised at how low the figures are for Flickr and YouTube. However this may be because you do not need an account unless you wish to upload material to these services. I guess it confirms the fact that only a relatively low percentage of social software and social network users are creating content.

It is also interesting to note the increasing numbers with a LinkedIn account. In the longer term I think LinkedIn may prove more sustainable than Facebook, if only because it has a real purpose behind it. And LinkedIn seem to have successfully increased the social networking functionality, whilst not allowing it to overwhelm the site.

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