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Facebook Remains the Dominant Platform, but Education, Race and Political Party Play Role in Social Network Preferences

The use of most social networking platforms and communications tools increased since our last poll was taken in the Fall of 2013 by between four and eight percentage points. For example, the percentage of 18- to 29- year olds who have a:

  • Facebook grew from 79 percent to 84 percent;
  • Google+ account grew from 37 percent to 44 percent;
  • Twitter grew from 35 percent to 40 percent;
  • Instagram grew from 30 percent to 36 percent;
  • Pinterest grew from 25 percent to 33 percent;
  • Snapchat grew from 16 percent to 23 percent; and
  • Tumblr grew from 10 percent to 14 percent.

With slightly more than three-in-five (61%) students in graduate school having a Google+ account, use among this cohort is significantly higher than students in high school (40%), college (41%), or those who are not in college and never attended (41%). Google+ is also more popular among young Blacks (54%) than young Whites under 30 years old.

Facebook (87%), Twitter (47%), Instagram (45%), Pinterest (37%), Snapchat (34%) and Tumblr (19%) are all more popular among college students than among young Americans who are not in, or never have attended, college.

When we asked the open-ended question, “What is the one website, social network, or app that you could not live without?” we found that while Facebook was the overall winner by a significant margin(24% compared to 7% for the second most mentioned site, Google), there were significant differences based on what level of education one was enrolled in. For example, high school students were significantly more likely to not tell us that Twitter was the platform that they could not live without. While the number of interviews was less than 200, this was a statistical significant finding when compared to students in community colleges and graduate school.

WHAT IS THE ONE WEBSITE, SOCIAL NETWORK, OR APP THAT YOU COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
- BY CURRENT EDUCATION STATUS -
 

Partisanship and Social Networks
We also see similar differences when social platform use is analyzed across party lines. While Facebook seems to have the same number of Democrats (87%) as Republicans (87%) — Google+ (52% of Democrats have an account compared to 36% of Republicans) and Twitter (46% of Democrats have an account compared to 38% of Republicans) seem to trend more Democratic. Pinterest, on the other hand, trends more Republican (40% have an account compared to 32% of Democrats).

 

ON WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING PLATFORMS DO YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNT?
- BY POLITICAL PARTY -
 

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