Social media usage in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Led by the U.S. market, North America has the highest social network penetration rate in the world. While the global average penetration rate stood at 37 percent in 2017, North America’s social network penetration rate was at around 66 percent. In the United States, 81 percent of population had a social media profile. This means that there were around 207 million social network users in the country in 2016. This figure places the United States as the country with the third largest social network user base in the world, only behind China and India. Projections are optimistic, showing a constant increase in the number of social network users in the coming years. By 2021, the number of social network users in the United States is forecast to jump to approximately 217 million.

Facebook is by far the most popular social network website in the United States based on visits, followed by YouTube and Twitter. About 79 percent of U.S. internet users were using Facebook in 2016. There 219 million U.S. Facebook users, the country still has the largest number of Facebook users in the world but growing markets India and Brazil are closing the gap quickly. Mobile is an important part of Facebook’s leading position in the market, as the social network is also the most popular mobile social networking app in the U.S. by reach, engagement and audience. Facebook users turn to the social networking platform for different reasons. Common daily activities include reading or updating Facebook, and visiting a company’s Facebook page. Indeed, many users turn to Facebook for product research; about 45 percent of Facebook users aged from 25 to 34 use the site to learn about new products. In terms of age group, users between 20 and 29 years old accounted for nearly 30 percent of all Facebook users in the United States.

Despite Facebook's ubiquity, other social networking sites are gaining space amongst teenagers and young adults with especially Instagram and Snapchat both constantly growing in popularity amongst young American internet users. In 2016, 39 percent of Americans aged from 18 to 34 were Snapchat users. Snapchat is indeed the preferred social network of American teenagers, as 35 percent of U.S. teens stated Snapchat was the most important social network for them. Teen and young adult users in the U.S. mainly access the platform to see snaps and stories from people they know, or to chat to people they know. Instagram is also quite popular among young social media users. About 53 percent of Americans aged from 18 to 34 stated using the photo-sharing app. Instagram ranked second in popularity among teens in the country; nearly a quarter of U.S. teens said the app was their preferred social network in 2016.

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