Social media survey looks at race, gender and age of users

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Social media users who are white tend to flock to Pinterest, Twitter is popular among blacks and people who live in cities, more people on Facebook are women than men and Instagram attracts adults under 30, a newly released survey finds.

The interesting data on the demographics of social media usage is the theme of a Pew Research Center survey conducted late last year and released Feb. 14. A separate Pew survey previously released took a look at who is coming and going on Facebook.

In the latest Pew findings to be issued, the research firm for the first time compared social media usage between whites, blacks and Latinos.

Some of the other highlights include:

  • The greatest percentage of Facebook and Twitter users are in the 18-29 bracket;
  • Pinterest, which is popular among people younger than 50 and those with some college education and a higher income, continues to see mostly women using the photo pinning site. They are five times as likely as men to hang out there.
  • Tumblr is significantly less popular among Internet users than the other social networking sites featured in the report. Just 6 percent of those online use the site. It is much more popular, however, among the youngest contingent — 13 percent of those 18-29 are blogging on Tumblr.

Overall, Facebook is still killing it compared to the others with 67 percent of Internet users logging onto the site, Pew found.

The numbers game is a tricky one.

For instance, Google+ is missing altogether from Pew’s survey even though just last month GlobalWebIndex said it was the second largest social platform globally, with 343 million users compared with Facebook’s 1 billion users.

The reason for its omission in Pew’s report likely stems from the fact that Pew’s numbers came out of a U.S. telephone survey of 1,802 respondents. GlobalWebIndex looks at social networking site usage around the world.

Google+ is clearly getting good traction in other countries. In fact, many of the people who have me in their circles on Google+ live outside the U.S. On Facebook, nearly all of my friends are U.S.-based.

YouTube is another one that didn’t make Pew’s list but shows up in third place on GlobalWebIndex’s lineup.

Pew, perhaps, doesn’t consider YouTube a social network even though you can follow people’s channels as well as comment on and share their videos. Even so, unlike Pew’s cadre of top social networks, you can use YouTube without actually having an account, so that likely has something to do with the delineation.

Some of my 16-year-old’s friends are on Google+ in spite of the ever-lingering idea that no one uses it. Most of my nephews and nieces check in with each other via Instagram and one of my kids gets great pleasure seeing photos I’ve shared of him on Instagram show up in his own photo stream.

All that said, who knows what up-and-coming network could disrupt the entire social media landscape going forward? Check out Sarah Jacobsson Purewal’s story: Hands-on with 5 promising private social networks .

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