By: Paige Sander
The Pew Research Center just released a recent study of the public’s social media usage in the year 2016. The data made me realize some surprising things. Facebook’s usage is steadily rising which really shocked me because only a few years ago, some considered Facebook obsolete. But the real shocking thing, is realizing that Facebook has always been the most popular form of social media. And yet, it was so interesting to watch Facebook reinvent themselves and return to universal appeal among the public. Things like Buzzfeed, cooking videos and a new emphasis on easy family connection are all things that drew people back into this social media platform.
Although in my personal life, it seems Facebook is the media I use the less, when it’s put on this large of a scale, you realize the public as a whole is mostly on Facebook. On the contrary, Twitter has been experiencing a plateau of user growth, which seems absurd considering the amount of user engagement from all aspects (B2B, B2C, C2C). Facebook can attribute much of its user growth to older demographics joining the social media website. Demographics are another thing that affect the growingly popular site, LinkedIn. They struggle with youthful engagement, but with things like internships and strategic social media classes, young people are learning the benefits of this platform!
I think the rise of personal blogging have contributed to the growth of sites like Pinterest. I am very guilty of overusing this platform, but the idea of a one stop for shopping, cooking and creative ideas has perfectly catered to their female target audience. Facebook also has a rise in Instagram users to celebrate, since their purchasing of the site in 2012. The study revealed that about 1 in 3 internet users are on Instagram, but 8 in 10 internet users are on Facebook. Once again, a surprising statistic for me especially considering they are under the same umbrella now.
Facebook has also openly tried to keep up with competitors like implementing a “story” feature on the Instagram application that mimics the entire purpose of Snapchat. Changes like these usually don’t fare well with the public, but it doesn’t seem to effect users!
The world of social media will never stop changing, but it’s always interesting to see how our perceptions of social media match up with actual figures about user engagement. I allow my personal bias for these platforms to form assumptions about worldwide usage, but it seems Facebook will always remain the most popular media platform for the public. I would be curious to see an entirely new platform emerge in the coming years and overcome Facebook!