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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Following the followers: Social media demographics
YouTube popular with men, Facebook with seniors
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:49 pm
by Jaraya Johnson

Social media preference and use fluctuates within different generations.

Social media use varies depending on both the outlet and the consumer. According to Pew Research, Facebook and YouTube are two of the most used social media apps in adults between the ages of 18-65. As of January 10, the percentage of adults who use YouTube is at 73 percent and the percentage of Facebook users is at 68 percent, according to the report. Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and WhatsApp trail behind.

Logan Plyler, 18, said: “Facebook became popular way before sites like Twitter and Instagram did, so older adults caught on quicker.”

Overall, women use social media more than men. According to the study, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat are used more by women of different ages, ethnicities, financial and educational backgrounds. However, 75 percent of YouTube users are men.

“YouTube is great for tutorials, which is popular in adults for some reason,” Plyler said. “For example, my dad uses YouTube only to figure out how to build and fix things.”

Using specific social media platforms depends on the individual and what they are trying to get out of the experience, according to Octavian Johnson, 26.

“I use Reddit because it’s a way to connect with like-minded people on topics that I’m into as well as ones that I didn’t know I’d be into.”
Though the Pew Research report listed Twitter and Instagram at 24 and 35 percent respectively, Johnson lists Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram as his most visited.

“I think it depends on how in tune you are with other people. You don’t have to have friends to get what Reddit has to offer. I feel like Reddit and Twitter deliver news better than Facebook and other sites do.”

For teens, however, the percentages are drastically different. In a Pew Research study, teenagers, 13-17, stated that they choose Snapchat (35 percent) and YouTube (32 percent) over Instagram (15 percent) and Facebook (10 percent). Smaller sites like Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr still trail behind.

Ar’Marya Ladson, 13, said: “I use Snapchat the most because I love trying different filters, making videos, and putting it on my story. I also love looking at other people’s stories to see what they are doing, the fun they are having, and where they are.”

Ladson names Facebook as her least visited.

“There is nothing on Facebook for me,” she said. “I really think it is a bad influence on kids because there is nothing but drama on there. Every time I scroll down my timeline, there is either something about killing or fighting and it’s not something I want to see.”  

According to Pew Research, 34 percent of older Americans aged 65 and above said they have used Twitter or Facebook. However, 45 percent of seniors under age 75 say they use social media.

Alice Johnson, 62, said “I use Facebook to check up on my nieces and nephews to see what they’re up to,” adding she uses the site to be protective of her family.

“I think black women use social media to warn our family members of any type of danger and we really are nosy like grandma, but we love our family.”
Pew Research stated: “Social media is increasingly becoming an important platform where people find news and information, share their experiences and connect with friends and family.”


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