News Column

Social Circles Evolve on Social Media

February 20, 2013

Katie Humphrey

Pa is on Facebook, Ma on Pinterest and the kids are running all over the digital world. As social media continue to grow and evolve, they're appealing to an increasingly diverse group of users by age, geography and race and ethnicity.

"Each platform has its own character and its own demographic tribe, though young adults are across-the-board the most likely to be using each of them," said Lee Rainie, director of Pew Internet.

Here's a snapshot of who socializes where, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project:

Facebook

Facebook still dominates, attracting two-thirds of all Internet users.

While it's considered standard for young adults, Facebook also reaches across generations more than any other network, even drawing 35 percent of Internet users over age 65.

Twitter

Twitter, most popular among ages 18 to 29, stands out for its racial and ethnic diversity.

The mobile -- and more accessible -- nature of the network, plus avid use by athletes and pop culture figures of color, are among the reasons Twitter is more popular among blacks and Hispanics than whites.

Instagram

Mobile photo sharing network Instagram, owned by Facebook, also attracts a crowd similar in diversity to Twitter.

Some of the popularity among people of color could come from the fact that "like groups do have a tendency to find one another online," said Shayla Thiel-Stern, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

Pinterest

The network that lets people "pin" online images is a favorite with women. Accordingly, it also skews more suburban and rural than other social networks, which draw more urban users. ?


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Source: (c) 2013 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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