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New Statistics on Internet, Social Media Use

Lori Halley 08 February 2010 6 comments

graph - 
internet usage by age group

Pew Internet & American Life Project has just published a new research study on Social Media and Young Adults, which — despite its title — has insights to offer about all age groups of American users of the Internet.

There are a number of statistics here that will be of interest to nonprofits wanting to connect with or recruit members and donors online. For example, the study shows, among other insights, an increase in the numbers of both teen and adult Americans who spend time on social networks, and that Facebook still dominates across all age groups.

Who’s online?

  • 93% of teens ages 12-17 go online, as do 93% of young adults ages 18-29. Three-quarters (74%) of all adults ages 18 and older go online.

Who’s using social networks?

  • 47% of online adults use social networking sites, up from 37% in November 2008.
  • Adults are increasingly fragmenting their social networking experience as a majority of those who use social networking sites – 52% – say they have two or more different profiles. That is up from 42% who had multiple profiles in May 2008.
  • graph - social  
networks by age groupFacebook is currently the most commonly-used online social network among adults. Among adult profile owners 73% have a profile on Facebook, 48% have a profile on MySpace and 14% have a LinkedIn profile.


The study also looked at rates of Internet adoption and trends, what gadgets are owned by which age groups of Americans, the penetration of broadband and wireless connectivity, the types of activities engaged in online, and a host of other interesting statistics.

I found its findings about the online consumption of news and current events were particularly interesting: Might this suggest that nonprofits who are active on current events and political issues have a stronger reason than ever to respond promptly online to headlines that relate to their missions?

  • Two-thirds of online white teens (66%) say they have gone online to get news or information about current events or politics, while 44% of black teens and 59% of English-speaking Hispanic teens have done the same.
  • 72% of online adults get news online [and] 68% of online adults get news or information online that is specifically about politics.  The percentage of adult internet users who get news online has held fairly constant since 2002, [while] getting political news online has increased dramatically since [March 2000, when] just 35% of online adults were getting political news online.

You can read the entire report online (or get a PDF download) at PewInternet.org.

What findings catch your eye in this new study — and what are the implications, if any,  for your nonprofit?

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 08 February 2010 at 8:26 AM


  • Twitter Trackbacks for Wild Apricot Blog : New Statistics on Internet, Social Media Use [wildapricot.com] on Topsy.com  said:

    Monday, 08 February 2010 at 3:22 AM
  • uberVU - social comments said:

    Monday, 08 February 2010 at 4:37 AM

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by askdebra: Pew report on use of internet and social media by age, demographics: http://is.gd/7W7lB (on @rjleaman blog)

  • Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Wednesday, 24 February 2010 at 4:45 AM

    Where do your nonprofit's members, donors and supporters spend their time online? What social networks should you focus on, for the best return on investment? Flowtown can help you find out.

  • Angie said:

    Monday, 01 November 2010 at 9:24 AM

    I'm trying to find out industry stats on how many people bookmark content when the bookmark this page feature is available. Has anyone got any ideas on where to find that sort of information?

  • Lee said:

    Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 7:24 AM

    Great stat, it’s very useful for who are researching about internet marketing or want internet marketing to find new customers. Thanks for sharing.

  • internet usage monitoring said:

    Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Nice post, great information. Thanks for sharing.

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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