A PEW Internet & American Life Project report states that people who use a social networking service (SNS) are more connected offline than who don’t use social media networks.
Contrary to claims made by some quarters, the study states that social networking “actually help users develop connections and form stronger relationships in the real world.” For instance, statistics proving social networks are more than just online relationships are:
- Only 3% of users’ Facebook friends have never met in person. While 89% of all Facebook friends have met in person more than once.
- Internet users have a much more diverse network than those who don’t use the internet. Out of all social networks, LinkedIn users have the most diverse networks.
- The average user of a social networking site has more close ties than a non-Internet user and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American.
- Internet Users are more trusting of others than non-Internet users. Facebook users are over 3 times more likely than non-internet users to agree that “most people can be trusted.”
- Social networking users may have more of a life than non-internet users. There is a higher percentage of SNS users to partake in a community group, sports league or youth group than a non-internet user.
It comes as no surprise that Facebook has the largest following with 92% users, followed by MySpace, the oldest SNS with 29%, then LinkedIn with 18% and Twitter trailing with 13%.
A breakdown of social networking reveals that:
- The average age of an adult SNS user jumped from 33 years old in 2008 to 38 years old in 2010.
- 12% more female social networking users in 2010
- The average LinkedIn user is 40 years old, while the average age for the MySpace is 32 years old, 38 years for Facebook users & 33 years for Twitter users.
- Men dominate LinkedIn at 64% and the opposite is true with women dominating Twitter at 64%.
- As with the world white web a few years back, whites make up the majority when it comes to social networking. LinkedIn has 85% white users compared to 2% black users and 4% Latino users. MySpace has 16% black users and 12% Latino users.
- On the leaderboard, Facebook has the highest frequency of use with 52% of users checking at least once a day, then Twitter with with 33% of users on the service daily. And 19% women update their Facebook status daily and half that number for men.
- 44% of users in the 18-22 age range favor or “Like” content on a daily basis.
- 20% women are more likely to “Like” Facebook content than just 9% men.
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