Social Media Update: Usage of Major Platforms on the Upswing

By Marketing Charts

The use of various social media platforms appears to be on the rise this year, according to an analysis of survey results [pdf] released by the Pew Research Center. YouTube and Facebook continue to lead the way as the most widely used, while Instagram nears adoption by half of the US adult population.

In this latest survey, fielded in July and August, 82% of US adults professed to using YouTube, up considerably from 72% in a survey fielded at a similar time last year, and 74% each of the 2 years prior.

Following YouTube is Facebook, which 70% of US adults reported using as of this latest research. That’s up slightly from last year’s survey (66%) and the one conducted in 2020 (68%), though it slightly trails the July 2019 edition of the research (71%). Facebook is forecast to have its first-ever drop in monthly US users this year, but that seems to be largely attributed to a decline in youth using it, so it’s possible that the share of adults using it can grow at the same time.

There’s been more movement in the adoption of Instagram: this year 47% of US adults surveyed said they use the platform, up from 41% last year, 40% the year prior, and 38% in 2019. (Only results from surveys conducted in July, August and/or September are included in this article.)

LinkedIn is next, ranked 4th of the 11 platforms, just ahead of a fast-rising challenger. This year 31% of US adults report use of the professional platform, up from a range of 25-27% the previous 3 years.

LinkedIn just edges out the ascendant TikTok, which is now used by 3 in 10 US adults, per the report. That continues a rapid rise for the app, up from 21% last year, 12% in 2020, and just 3% in 2019.

As a result of this jump, TikTok has overtaken both Twitter and Snapchat in the popularity sweepstakes, both of which are on similar trajectories. Both Twitter and Snapchat are used by 27% of respondents, with each up from 23% last year.

Meanwhile, after inching up the past few years to 21% usage last year, WhatsApp has taken another step forward this year, with more than one-quarter (26%) of US adults saying they use the messaging app.

That puts it ahead of Reddit, which itself has grown. Some 22% of respondents say they use Reddit, up from 17% last year, 15% in 2020, and 13% in 2019.

Included for the first time this year, 19% of US adults reported use of Nextdoor.

Finally, almost 1 in 10 (9% of) respondents said they use Twitch, up from 7% last year, 6% in 2020 and 5% in 2019.

Article originally appeared on Marketing Charts.

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