Who’s using social media today?

Kristin Burnham, journalist and blogger

There’s no denying the popularity of social networks, especially as the number of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter users consistently grow. Even the newest social networking contender, Google+, has shattered expectations. But how popular exactly have these sites become?

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 65% of online adults are now involved in social networking. That’s up from 61% last year, and is more than double it was in 2008.

“The pace with which new users have flocked to social networking sites has been staggering,” writes report authors Mary Madden and Kathryn Zickuhr. “When we first asked about social networking sites in February of 2005, just 8% of Internet users — or 5% of all adults — said they used them.

Pew has compiled some interesting social networking usage factoids and statistics in this report. Where does social networking stand in the most popular daily online activities in 2011? Which age group’s social networking usage has skyrocketed? And what are the top words — both positive and negative — people associate with social networking? Check out the infographic below.

Kristin Burnham is an award-winning journalist and blogger who covers the ever-evolving social media and Web 2.0 landscape.
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