Facebook and other social networking websites now reach 35% of all online adults

January 16th, 2009 Karine Joly 3 Comments

Our good friends from the Pew Internet and American Life Project have just released a very interesting 17-page report about adults and social networks websites.

The big news in this report is the increased interest shown by online adults for Facebook and Co according to the results of two different surveys done in May and December 2008.

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% now,1 according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking survey.

Below are some of the most interesting findings I grabbed from this report:

  • 75% of our college crowd, young adults aged 18-24 have a profile (no big scoop here, but always nice to have some recent data, don’t you think?), 57% of online adults 25-34, 30% of online adults 35-44
  • In February 2005, just 2% of adult internet users had visited an online social network “yesterday” while 19% of adult internet users had done so in December 2008.
  • Social network users are also more likely to be students — 68% of full time students and 71% of part-time students have a social network profile, while just 28% of adults who are not students use social networks.

  • Nearly one third 31% of online white adults have a social networking profile, compared with 43% of African-Americans and 48% of Hispanics.
  • So, where are those networking adults?
    • 50% of adult social network users have a profile on MySpace
    • 22% have a profile on Facebook
    • 6% have a profile on LinkedIn

    MySpace users are more likely to be women, Hispanic or black, to have a high school education or some experience with college. The median age of a MySpace user is 27 years old. Facebook users are more likely to be men and to have a college degree. The median age of a Facebook user is 26 years old. LinkedIn users are more likely to be men, to be white and to have a college degree. The median age of a LinkedIn user is 40 years old.

  • When users do use social networks for professional and personal reasons, they will often maintain multiple profiles, generally on different sites.
    51% of social network users have two or more online profiles
    43% have only one online profile

There’s even more interesting data about the type of use depending on the websites. Go download this free PDF report now – and use to back up your social media initiatives.

3 Responses

  1. Vasco says:

    Pretty interesting data. I´ve actually just posted my current experience regarding facebook and business networks on my blog. I´m 34, m ,based in Berlin and have been using several business networks separately, while considering facebook just another social network for a while. Now I am seeing facebook sucking up all contacts (which is starting to elimante my need for business networks) and it´s surprisingly easier and more fun to do business on facebook now.

  2. […] College Web Editor – Facebook and other social networking websites now reach 35% of all online adult… […]

  3. Good data to reinforce what many of us suspected was the value of Facebook in terms of gluing together networks. I’ve found Facebook becoming a place where I connect with old high school and college acquaintances, colleagues in higher ed, marketing and communications, and people I’ve worked with in previous projects involving my earlier writing and church work. I’m anxious to read something from Pew about Twitter, which I still find more enjoyable for quick chit-chit and requiring less maintenance of contacts.

Got a question or comment?


Looking for an affordable conference for your Web team?

Attend the 2019 Higher Ed WEBSITES Conference to kick off your summer projects!

Learn more about this online conference now!