Not all platforms are suitable for all users. Social media has allowed for mass cultural exchange and intercultural communication. But, every social media platform has its own taste, theme and purpose for its users.
There is sufficient criticisms of social media ranging from criticisms of the ease of use of specific platforms and their capabilities, disparity of information available, issues with trustworthiness and reliability of information presented.
Nonetheless, every social media outlet enjoys particular sets of audience, demographics and user behavior. Here, we will see what kind of users of social media use which platforms, and for what purpose.
Instagram has a neutral gender-bias format, however 68% of users are females, while 32% are male. While Instagram may appear to be one of the most widely used sites for photo sharing, only 7% of daily photo uploads, among the top four photo-sharing platforms, come from Instagram.
Instagram primarily attracts younger generation with 90% of the 150 million users under the age of 35.
People having some kind of college education are the most active on Instagram with 23% user ratio. College graduates are 18% and users with a high school diploma or less make up 15%.
According to researchers, media platforms showing peoples’ faces receive more ‘likes’ and comments and that using filters increases engagement.
The motives for using Instagram among young people are mainly to look at posts, particularly for the sake of social interactions and recreation. In contrast, the level of agreement expressed in creating Instagram posts was lower, which demonstrates that Instagram’s emphasis on visual communication is widely accepted by young people in social communication.
In October 2012, Facebook’s monthly active users crossed one billion mark, with 60% smartphone users. The 2 billion user mark was crossed in June 2017. From 2017 to 2019, the percentage of the U.S. population over the age of 12 who use Facebook has declined, from 67% to 61%, with a higher drop-off among younger Americans.
Historically, commentators have offered predictions of Facebook’s decline or end, based on causes such as a declining user base, legal difficulties of being a closed platform, user privacy loopholes, inability to adapt to mobile platforms, or Facebook ending itself to present a next generation replacement.
The highest number of Facebook users as of October 2018 are from India and the United States, followed by Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. Region-wise, the highest number of users are from Asia-Pacific (947 million) followed by Europe (381 million) and US-Canada (242 million). The rest of the world has 750 million users. Over the 2008-2018 period, the percentage of users under 34 declined to less than half of the total.
Twitter’s annual growth rate decreased from 7.8 percent in 2015 to 3.4 percent in 2017. Its global user base in 2017 was 328 million. In 2009, Twitter was mainly used by older adults who might not have used other social sites before Twitter. According to comScore only 11% of Twitter’s users are aged 12 to 17.
According to a study by Sysomos in June 2009, women make up a slightly larger Twitter demographic than men i.e.53% over 47%. It also stated that 5% of users accounted for 75% of all activity.
In 2012, the country with the most active users on Twitter was the United States. A 2016 Pew research poll found that Twitter is used by 24% of all online US adults. It was equally popular with men and women (24% and 25% of online Americans respectively), but more popular with younger (36% of 18–29 year olds) generations.
A 2019 survey conducted by the Pew Foundation found that Twitter users are more likely than the general public to have both a college degree and higher income than the average U.S. adult. Users are also three times as likely to be younger than 50 years old, with the median age of adult U.S. users being 40 years old. The survey found that 10% of users who are most active on Twitter are responsible for 80% of all tweets, focusing mainly on the topics of politics and women.
From its earliest days, Snapchat’s main demographic has consisted of the Generation Z . The researchers originally hypothesized that due to the ephemeral nature of Snapchat messages, its use would be predominantly for privacy-sensitive content including the much talked about potential use for sexual content and sexting. 14.2% admitted to having sent sexual content via Snapchat at some point.
Rather, the primary use for Snapchat is for comedic content such as “stupid faces” with 59.8% of respondents reporting this use most commonly.
Snapchat’s success is not due to its security properties, but because the users found the application to be fun. The researchers found that users seem to be well-aware (79.4% of respondents) that recovering snaps is possible and a majority of users (52.8% of respondents) report that this does not affect their behavior and use of Snapchat
Snapchat has often been seen to represent a new direction in social media, with its users craving a more in-the-moment way of sharing and communicating via technology.
The growing mobile app moved to offer distinct publication, media, and news content within its Discover channel, as well as with its overall style of presentation. With Snapchat, a clear and identifiable line was drawn between brand content and user-based messaging and sharing, once again distinguishing the popular app from other social media networks, which typically have blended and blurred their different varieties of content.
Pinterest has largely appealed to women. In 2020, over 60% of the global users are women. Although men have not been a primary audience on Pinterest, it’s been found that their usage has increased 48%. In terms of age distribution, users between the ages of 18-25 have grown twice as fast as those over the age of 25. However, both users between the ages of 18-25 and users between the ages of 25-40 have been driving the growth of Pinterest.