The first survey to ask specifically about Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr provides mixed results.
A new study has revealed detailed information about the demographics of three key, yet previously unstudied, social networks, and how people use them.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project conducted a phone survey of over 1,000 adults and questioned them on their social media habits. It’s the first survey of its kind to specifically ask about Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, and the results were produced some interesting trends, plus some statistics that are unlikely to make headlines.
Creators and Curators
Firstly, social media users are split into two groups, which the survey labels as “creators” and “curators”. Creators are those that post original photos and videos online, while curators are those that gather videos and images posted elsewhere and share them. According to this survey, the proportion of creators is actually larger than curators. Creators make up 46% of internet users, while curators make up 41%.
One finding that is unlikely to surprise anyone is the revelation that women are more likely to use Pinterest than men. 12% of online adults overall use Pinterest, while 19% – nearly one-fifth – of online women use the social networking site.
Instagram is dominated by the younger generations. 12% of online adults use Instagram, but 27% of web users aged between 18 and 29 use the photo-sharing service.
Equally, only 5% of online adults use Tumblr, while 11% of young adults use the blogging platform.
Joanna Brenner of Pew Internet, who co-authored the report, said that the findings showed developing trends in social media use: “The Internet has always been a platform for creators and curators. Now, as social media services continue to grow and expand, the tools are more visual and social, and that seems to be attracting special audiences of early adopters.”
Pew Internet have conducted several other social media-related studies this summer. One study, looking at social media use in adults, reported that the number of adults with at least one social media account has risen over the past year, from 61% to 65%. While the amount of people under 30 with one of more accounts was stable, the growth was due to a boom in the number of people aged 50 to 64 hopping on the social networking bandwagon.
Yet another report showed that 71% of online Americans use video-sharing sites, an increase from the 66% reported last year. Interestingly, the same study also showed that rural internet users are now just as likely to access and use these sites as urban and suburban users.
Kathleen Moore, who wrote the report, attributes this increase to improved technology:
“The rise of broadband and better mobile networks and devices has meant that video has become an increasingly popular part of users’ online experiences. People use these sites for every imaginable reason – to laugh and learn, to watch the best and worst of popular culture and to check out news. And video-sharing sites are very social spaces as people vote on, comment on, and share these videos with others.”