Teens vs Grown-ups: The Social Media Breakdown

teens vs adultsAs you may have realized, I spend many of my waking moments thinking about how teenagers use social media. Whether deep in thought about how high schoolers use SnapChat or wondering why an 11-year-old needs a public Instagram feed, the social media habits of the world’s adults-in-formation take up a lot of my headspace. So I was pretty stoked to see NextAdvisor’s infographic featured on Entrepreneur.com. You can see it, in all its glory, at the bottom of this post.

Finally – Some Graphs!

If it seems like there is a new story every week about how teenagers use social media, that’s because there is. Still, not many of those stories come with graphs as clear and concise as the ones on this infographic.

Although most of what you will see is pretty unsurprising, there are a few interesting factoids to glean from this.

Completely Unsurprising

  • 81% of teenagers (people age 13-18) use social media.
  • 72% of all people over 18 use social media.
  • 89% of young adults (people age 18-29) use social media.
  • Everyone has a Facebook profile.

Actually, not everyone has a Facebook profile. But all (94%) of the teenagers who use social media do. (Which makes what I wrote back in June now seem incorrect, but I am not too proud to admit when I am wrong.)

Is Anything Surprising?

Although much of what you will find on the infographic will be along the lines of exactly what you expected, there are some pretty surprising pieces of information. For example, did you know that adults dominate Instagram usage? Now that is actually fairly interesting when you consider all the hype surrounding Instagram.

Another surprising factoid? The fact that almost no teens are using Pinterest. 15% of social media using adults cultivate Pinterest boards, while only 1% of teen users do.

Ultimately, there is every indication that social media usage will continue to be fluid across all age groups. Teens will use certain applications more than adults and vice versa. In fact, it may be interesting to watch how these statistics change over time. After all, ten years from now, the teens from this survey will be adults. Depending on your target market and age group, these statistics might move you to reevaluate how you are reaching your audience, and whether you should give alternate forms of social media a shot.

How does your business use social media to reach your audience? Are you considering different platforms?

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A teacher by trade, Elizabeth LaBelle graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 2011. After specializing in Political Science and Francophone Studies with a minor in Korean, the only tangible skill she can show for it is the ability to write in all three languages. Elizabeth never thought she would get paid to write in any language – but after four years washing dishes in an industrial kitchen and a year selling office supplies door-to-door, nothing surprises her. When she’s not writing or teaching, Elizabeth coaches high school debate and forensics. Her hobbies include thoroughbred racing, competitive pool playing and hunting for the perfect Chicago apartment.

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