Pew Research reveals its 2021 social media usage trends

Although some competitors stole its shine as the dominant social media platform, Facebook still had the most daily usage, the latest Pew Research trends show.

Pew’s 2021 social media usage survey had 1,502 US respondents. It asked them about some of their social media habits.

The study revealed key shifts and trends in the adoption and usage of social media platforms.

With the pandemic, the past year saw most platforms rise in usage. The data shows the big players are still atop. But other apps are gaining ground.

Pew reports YouTube and Facebook as the most popular social apps among US users, by a large margin.

pew research 2021 social media usage

“YouTube and Facebook continue to dominate the online landscape, with 81% and 69%, respectively, reporting ever using these sites. And YouTube and Reddit were the only two platforms measured that saw statistically significant growth since 2019, when the Center last polled on this topic via a phone survey,” says Pew.

Facebook usage has not budged since the last update. And YouTube has increased 8%.

Reddit adoption rate has risen by 7% among respondents. It highlights the potential of Reddit. The platform has ramped up efforts to clean up and enhance its mainstream appeal.

Pew’s data shows that 40% of US adults use Instagram. And around 30% of those surveyed are on LinkedIn and Pinterest. TikTok still has a significant presence with 21% of the population using it.

Pew notes that Snapchat and TikTok have found their niche with younger user groups.

“Even as other platforms do not nearly match the overall reach of YouTube or Facebook, there are certain sites or apps, most notably Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, that have an especially strong following among young adults. In fact, a majority of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok,” says Pew.

Facebook has been speculated to have lost ground to other apps. But Pew’s data shows it still has the most daily usage. It beat Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram.

pew research 2021 social media usage

While people still check Facebook frequently every day, the average usage time may have dropped.

Bottom of Form

Facebook has become a default communications tool for most respondents. It informs about key events in the lives of family and friends, such as birthdays, important announcements, and more. It means most people check Facebook every morning.

Many users would also spend time consuming content on TikTok and/or Instagram. These platforms have direct access to more engaging, immersive content to spend time around with these days.

Other key information

  • About half of Black and Hispanic Americans actively use Instagram, while White Americans have smaller shares
  • About half of adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree use LinkedIn, while those with some college experience or less have significantly smaller shares
  • Women dominate Pinterest usage over men at 46% and 16% respectively

The numbers gravitate to your target market. If you’re inactive to these platforms, update your marketing strategy. 

You can read Pew Research’s report here.

Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

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