Adults are sticking with social media, despite the scandals

You might have thought that 18 months of terrible PR for social media might have dampened our love of the medium. You would be wrong, according to a new survey in the US from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, despite Twitter’s ongoing problem with trolling, YouTube’s worrying spread of conspiracy theories, Facebook’s many data faux pas and Instagram’s alarming influences on teens, social media sites’ popularity is statistically unchanged from this time a year ago.

Overall, the percentage of survey respondents who claimed to use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter were “largely the same”. Facebook-owned Instagram actually saw some growth year-on-year.

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After a series of high-profile data leaks and privacy complaints, a campaign to delete Facebook seemed to be growing in popularity in 2018, but the results don’t really seem to have materialised in this particular survey.

A 2018 Center survey found that some Facebook users had recently taken steps to moderate their use of the site – such as deleting the Facebook app from their phone or taking a break from the platform for some time,” write Andrew Perrin and Monica Anderson in a Pew release supporting the research. “But despite these findings and amid some high profile controversies, Facebook users as a whole are just as active on the site today as they were a year ago.”

Indeed, overall 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily, and roughly half check in multiple times per day. “These shares are identical to those reported by Facebook users in the Center’s 2018 social media use survey,” Perrin and Anderson write.

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The most popular sites overall were YouTube (73%) and Facebook (69%), and after that it drops off quite a bit: 37% used Instagram, 28% Pinterest, 27% LinkedIn, 24% Snapchat, 22% Twitter and 20% WhatsApp.

This changes when you switch age groups. Amongst 18- to 29-year-old users, Instagram and Snapchat increase to 67% and 62% overall.

Have you changed your social media usage changed in the last year? Let us know on Twitter (yes, we appreciate the irony). @TrustedReviews.