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Pew: Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Use Social Networks

A solid majority of U.S. adults now use social networking sites, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of over two dozen of its own studies over the past decade.

According to Pew, 65% now use sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. That is compared to 50% in 2011. It points out that is almost a tenfold increase since 2005 (7%) when it first started tracking social media usage, but then, in 2005 most of today's biggest social network sites were either in the bud or hadn't been launched.

The survey or studies found that while usage appears to have leveled off generally since 2013, it has grown among some groups, including older Americans.

Usage among those 65 and up, for example, has tripled since 2010 to 35%. But younger adults continue to drive the revolution, with 90% of those 18-29 on social media.

Women are slightly higher users at 68% vs. 62% and there is an income divide, with 78% of those with the highest incomes on social networks compared to 58% of those in the lowest-income households. There is also an education divide, with 70% of those with some college and 76% of those with a degree on the sites, but 54% of those with a high school diploma or less.

There is only a slight rural divide, with 58% of rural residents on social networks, compared with 64% for urban and 68% for suburban residents.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.