68% of Online Adults Used Social Media in 2008

If you think that using social networking, blogs, and community sites is something teens do, you’re behind the times.

In 2008, 68% of online adults were actively using these services, and 19% did so daily. And both the number of users and frequency of use is increasing. 42% of those surveyed said they visit social sites more in the last 6 months according to a report by MarketTools. “Our research sheds new light on just how ingrained blogs, communities and social networking sites have become in our daily lives,” said Beth Rounds, SVP of research solutions at MarketTools.

Not surprisingly, generational and gender gaps stratify the user base, but perhaps not as much as you imagine, daily usage of these sites breaks out in the following manner:

  • 33% of Generation-Y respondents (people in their 20s) visit these sites every day
  • 17% of Generation X (30s and early 40s) visit these sites daily
  • 11% of Baby Boomers (mid 40s to early 60s) visit social media sites daily
  • 8% percent of Seniors visit daily
  • 22% of women vs. 16% of men visit social media sites daily

Just over half (51%) of adult internet users say the reason they visit social networking sites, communities and blogs is “to have fun.”

Thirty-three percent of adults visit social sites specifically to research items they want to purchase, but it is the Baby Boomers (mid 40s to early 60s) that are the most likely to read or post comments about products and services.

The product information and comments found on social sites has a direct impact on purchasing decisions, with nearly half of respondents indicating the information had a direct impact on their purchases, and 26% stating they actually changed their minds based on what they read on a blog, community or social network.

MySpace, eBay and YouTube were the sites most frequented by survey respondents, and about 33% of adults visited all three sites.

Outside of social media sites, the most commonly visited “general” websites are company and news sites, search engines, and weather.

Linda Criddle

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