Why Do Americans Use Social Media?

The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently polled over 2,250 Americans to find out why they use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace. The published report, “Why Americans Use Social Media,” led to some interesting findings. Most notably, it was found that keeping in touch with current friends or reconnecting with people they’ve lost touch with are the two most popular reasons for embracing social media. The lowest motivators for using social media included making new friends, finding dating partners or following celebrities.

With 91% of respondents citing that “staying in touch with current friends” was a “minor to major” reason they use social media, it’s clear that many Americans choose to embrace social media for this reason. 87% of respondents said that “staying in touch with family” was their reason for social media adoption, while 86% said that “connecting with old friends you’ve lost touch with” was their motivation.

Of the respondents who use social media to stay in touch with current friends and reconnect with old ones, I found it interesting that this was most relevant for people under the age of 50. In fact, roughly seven out of ten users under the age of 50 say that staying in touch with current friends is a major reason they use social media, and approximately half say that connecting with old friends is equally important.

There were many other interesting insights gained from this research, and you can read more about the research by viewing the entire report from Pew Research.

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