The Gong Blog

A five-minute primer on Pew Research’s latest social media use survey

Every year, for as long as I can remember (since 2005), Pew Research Center has released its annual report on social media usage. The organization recently released its report for 2018.

No shock here, Facebook and YouTube are the juggernauts in the social media landscape with 68 percent of U.S. adults saying they use Facebook, and 73 percent using YouTube. One key question moving forward: how will the Cambridge Analytica scandal impact American’s use of Facebook if at all, or is the social network too big to fail? And while I don’t have the answer to this question (not yet, at least), one place to start is to look at your own social habits. Have you deleted your Facebook account? I’m guessing, no.

Here are a few key takeaways that you can share with your team or in your next meeting with the C-suite.

Snapchat and WhatsApp tracked for the first time

It took longer than expected, but both Snapchat and WhatsApp have been tracked for the first time in this year’s report.

Who is exactly is using Snapchat? Adults age 18-29, from ethnically diverse backgrounds living in urban or suburban areas. Women are more likely to use Snapchat than men. And 63% of users, access the platform at least once a day.

And who is using WhatsApp? Adults age 30-49, living in urban areas with varying levels of education. And it’s worth noting that a high percentage of users are Hispanic.

Snapchat is one to pay close attention to, especially with users leaving the platform in droves following a disastrous redesign and a couple high-profile celebrities (Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen) admitting that they’re no longer avid users of the platform.

Instagram’s stock is rising — usage is up 7% since 2016

Unlike any of the “legacy platforms” tracked in previous years by Pew, Instagram is the only platform that saw a significant increase in usage. Perhaps this growth is due in part to the addition of Instagram stories, which now boasts more than 300 million daily active users of the feature. Sometimes it pays to copy what your competitors are doing.

We’re all addicted to our phones

Here are some scary (or exciting) statistics:

  • 74 percent of Facebook users visit the platform daily (and 51 stated they log in several times per day)
  • 63 percent of Snapchat users use the platform daily (63 percent stated they log in several times per day)
  • 60 percent of Instagram users visit the platform daily (38 percent stated they log in several times per day)

Yet, 59 percent of all social media users say it would not be hard to give up social media. Really? Sounds like most of us are in denial.

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Apparently, the landline telephone is not dead

I’ll leave you with one data point that made me literally laugh out loud. This survey was conducted by interviewing adults in the United States through two methods — landline and cell phone telephone interviews. I can’t get over the juxtaposition of 500 individuals using a landline telephone to answer questions about a social media survey, but I guess that’s just the Millennial in me.

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POSTED IN: Public Relations, Social Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Communications

Kelsey Leavey

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