ORB – Oregonian Research Blog

January 15, 2009

Adults flock to Social Networks

Use of social networking sites among those 18 and older quadrupled over the past four years, according to
a study released by Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Still, its the younger online adults who are much more likely to use social networks. 75% of adults 18-24 using these networks, compared to just 7% of adults 65 and older.

MySpace continues to be the most popular networking site. The study finds MySpace users are more likely to be women, to be Hispanic or black, and to have a high school education or some experience with college; median age is 27. Facebook has 22% of the adult social networking audience. Facebook users are more likely to be men, with a college degree. The median age on Facebook is 26. Six percent of adult social networking users have a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn users have a higher median age, 40, and are more likely to be male and white and to have a college degree.

Most adult social network users are privacy conscious:

  • 60% of adult social network users restrict access to their profiles so that only their friends can see it.
  • 36% of social network users allow anyone to see their online profile
  • 58% of adult social network users restrict access to certain content within their profile

Pew Internet conducted a survey in May 2008 and December 2008 and compared it against similar surveys it conducted in 2005.

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