Half of U.S. adults use social networking

Fully 65% of adult Internet users now use social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. This percentage is more than double the 29% reported in 2008 and means that half of all adult Americans are now social networkers, marking a milestone for social media use in the U.S.

Baby boomers are fueling some of this growth. Some 32% of online Americans aged 50-64 grew reported accessing social networking sites daily, compared to 20% a year ago. “The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Mary Madden, senior research specialist and report co-author. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

Still, young adult women ages 18-29 comprise the “power users” of social networking, according to the report. About 89% of those who are online use the sites overall and 69% do so on an average day. The research found no significant differences in use of social networking sites based on race and ethnicity, household income, education level, or residential location (urban, suburban, or rural).

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