May 25, 2022

New Report from Pew Internet: "Social Networking Sites and Our Lives"

Report Homepage and Overview

The findings presented here paint a rich and complex picture of the role that digital technology plays in people’s social worlds. Wherever possible, we seek to disentangle whether people’s varying social behaviors and attitudes are related to the different ways they use social networking sites, or to other relevant demographic characteristics, such as age, gender and social class.

Full Text Report (HTML) ||| PDF Version


  • In this Pew Internet sample, 79% of American adults said they used the internet and nearly half of adults (47%), or 59% of internet users, say they use at least one of SNS [social networking site]. This is close to double the 26% of adults (34% of internet users) who used a SNS in 2008. Among other things, this means the average age of adult-SNS users has shifted from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010.  Over half of all adult SNS users are now over the age of 35. Some 56% of SNS users now are female.
  • Facebook dominates the SNS space in this survey: 92% of SNS users are on Facebook; 29% use MySpace, 18% used LinkedIn and 13% use Twitter.
  • On Facebook on an average day:
  • 15% of Facebook users update their own status.
  • 22% comment on another’s post or status.
  • 20% comment on another user’s photos.
  • 26% “Like” another user’s content.
  • 10% send another user a private message
  • As with the use of most social media, SNS users are disproportionately female (56%). Women also comprise the majority of email users (52% women), users of instant message (55%), bloggers (54%), and those who use a photo sharing service (58%).

Who uses what social networking site platform?

  • Nearly twice as many men (63%) as women (37%) use LinkedIn. All other SNS platforms have significantly more female users than male users.
  • The average adult MySpace user is younger (32), and the average adult LinkedIn user older (40), than the average Facebook user (38), Twitter user (33), and users of other SNS users (35).
  • MySpace and Twitter users are the most racially diverse mainstream social network platforms. However, a large proportion of users of “other” social network services are racial minorities.
  • MySpace users tend to have fewer years of formal education than users of other social network services, whereas most LinkedIn users have at least one university degree.

The rise and fall of different social networking site platforms

  • Twitter is the SNS that has experienced the most recent growth in new members. On the other hand, a very small number of people have joined MySpace in the past year.
  • Fewer than 3% of all MySpace users joined within the past 6-months, 10% joined within the past year.
  • Over 75% of MySpace users joining the site two or more years ago. In comparison, nearly 60% of Twitter users, 39% of Facebook users, and 36% of LinkedIn users joined within the past year.

Social Ties

  • average American has an overall network of 634 social ties
  • average internet user has 669 social ties, compared with non-users, who have an average of 506 ties.
  • average cell phone user has 664 social ties
  • average SNS user has 636 social ties

Much More In the Complete Report (Numerous Charts)

Full Text Report (HTML) ||| PDF Version

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.