Pinterest is more likely to attract highly educated women, and African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to tweet than whites. These are a few of the findings from Pew Research’s survey on the demographics of social media users in 2012, which looked at the ages, ethnicities, and education of social media users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and Pinterest.

Let's break it down by platform: 


Of total Internet users, 67 percent use social networking tools, and Facebook is by far the most popular. It attracts 72 percent of female Internet-users and 62 percent of males.

Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at Pew, said Facebook’s premise of connecting with friends and family members particularly registers with women.

“It’s something that we’ve seen fairly consistently over a number of years, that usage rates for women in social networking sites in general are higher,” he said, adding, “it’s statistically significant, but it’s not like men are completely being left in the dust in this stuff, either.”

While 83 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds frequent Facebook, 73 percent of people aged 30 to 49 use it, followed by 57 percent of Baby Boomers.


Since November 2010, the number of Internet users who engage with Twitter has doubled. Nearly 30 percent of Twitter consumers are 18 to 29-years-old. When it comes to ethnicity, African-Americans (26 percent) and Hispanics (19 percent) are the most active tweeters. And, generally, Twitter is also more popular in urban settings than in suburban or rural regions.


Much like Twitter, Instagram resonates most with African-Americans, Hispanics, and urban residents. Overall, 13 percent of Internet users are on Instagram, and it attracts more females than males. 

It also has much less traction with the population over the age of 50; of those who use Instagram, only 5 percent are over the age of 50, compared to 42 percent of 18 to 49-year-olds.


The digital scrapbooking platform attracts 15 percent of Internet users. Women are five times more likely than men to be on it, and it is particularly attractive to whites, people who graduated college, and households with an income greater than $50,000. Interestingly, it’s the one social media site that’s more popular in rural regions than urban or suburban ones.


As of August 2012, 20 percent of online adults said they used LinkedIn. The survey did not investigate the ages, ethnicities, or education of LinkedIn users.