eMarketer recently found that Facebook and Google+ had the highest number of account holders among the 2,500 U.S. men and women it surveyed.
Of the women surveyed, 56 percent have Facebook accounts; 26 percent have Google+ accounts; and 17 percent have Twitter accounts. Of the men surveyed, 49.5 percent have Facebook accounts; 24.5 percent are Google+ users, and 15.5 percent are Twitter users.
Only about 5 percent of men have Pinterest accounts, compared with 22 percent of women. (No big surprise there.)
The research also found that mobile social network use is continuing to increase:
The desktop and laptop remained the No. 1 place where users accessed sites, but the smartphone wasn’t far behind. Just less than half of both men and women accessed via their smartphone, and another 32% of men and 21% of women accessed via the tablet.
Of course, just because someone has set up an account on a social networking site doesn’t mean that person regularly uses the site. Still, the research is a reminder that social networking is an increasingly mainstream part of people’s lives, and that news organizations need to be where their audiences are.
Other research supports this argument. Half of Americans now get their news digitally, according to recent Pew research. Last fall, Pew found that more than one-third of people under the age of 30 get their news from social networking sites. It also found that while Twitter’s usage among Americans is limited, its users tend to interact a lot with the media. Of those surveyed, about 36 percent use the site “to follow news organizations or journalists.”