According to a new study, Instagram and Pinterest are catching up with Facebook and Twitter at an alarming rate. Alarming, that is, for Facebook and Twitter, or at least it should be. The Pew Centre Research Report that has come up with this evidence says that in the last three years, Pinterest and Instagram have shown a growth in the number of users that is quite impressive: they have almost doubled their user base. Thirty one percent of those polled reported using Pinterest, the site for pretty flowers and rainbows, up from 15 percent three years ago. Instagram showed a rise from 13 percent to 28 percent over the last three years. However, neither app showed a significant increase from September 2014 to April 2015
In terms of sheer numbers, of course, Facebook still leads, without question. A whopping 72 percent of those who were part of the study use Facebook. But growth in user base has plateaued, without a statistically significant rise in percentage of users in the last three years. From 2012 to 2015, they have only gone from 67 percent to 72 percent. Twitter, too, shows a similar plateauing effect, going from 16 percent in 2012 to 23 percent in 2015.
The good news for Facebook is that those who were on it are still on it, and actively engaged, with 70 percent admitting to checking in daily. LinkedIn is doing well with user engagement, as is Pinterest, though Instagram beats both, with 59 percent of their users visiting the platform every day.
LinkedIn seems to have reached their target audience of young and old professionals, and is reported to be more popular with older adults (30 to 49 years) than younger ones (18 to 29 years), with the latter being more dominant on most other platforms. This indicates a focused growth in keeping with LinkedIn’s stated purpose. About 46 percent of college graduates among the respondents are on this platform. Among those already employed, 32 percent are on LinkedIn.
Other forums like Reddit, Digg, Tumblr and Slashdot are also seeing a rising number of young people signing up. Discussion-based platforms seem to be gaining momentum. Young adults, in particular, seem drawn to these platforms.
Go Mobile to Be Relevant
This study was conducted with a sample size of 1,907 adults, all of them in the US, so this is not reflective of the world. It is, however, still quite interesting to note that among those people, 85 percent use the Internet, while 67 percent use smartphones. This indicates a major shift in how the young users of the Internet access the world of information and the rising popularity of apps, as well as the importance of mobile-friendly layout for websites.
Messaging apps, as might have been predicted, are big. Almost half of smartphone users in the 18-29 age group use messaging apps, but about 41 percent in that same age group like self-deleting versions of messaging apps, like Snapchat. The study also indicates that the popularity of these self-deleting messaging apps might show a slow drift away from heavy use of more established platforms like Facebook. Across age groups, 36 percent of respondents with smartphones use messaging apps like WhatsApp, iMessage and Kik. Seventeen percent use the Snapchat and Wickr kind of apps that delete your messages automatically.