Social media helps billions of people worldwide stay connected, and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) and Instagram, owned by Facebook, are among the most successful brands, each appealing to different demographics. With over 1 billion users worldwide, Facebook tends to appeal to adults, with 47% of its users over the age of 35. Twitter has over 271 million active users who tend to be younger, with 35% between the ages of 18 and 29. Of Instagram’s 200 million active users, 53% are between the ages of 18 and 29.
Earth Is Facebook’s Target Market
Since a substantial portion of the world’s population is actively using Facebook, “Who isn’t Facebook’s target market?” may be an easier question to answer. As of 2015, 72% of online American adults use Facebook. The site is especially popular among online women, 77% of whom are users of the site. In addition, 82% of online adults between 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79% of those 30 to 49, 64% of those 50 to 64 and 48% of those 65 and older. While its user base is dominated by those over 25, Facebook still has over 50 million users under the age of 25.
Facebook is more popular with middle-aged adults than other social networks. In the U.S., the average monthly active user of Facebook was 40 years old in 2014. Facebook is popular among those in rural, suburban and urban areas, and those at every income level and education background. There is also not much of a difference in usage among different ethnic backgrounds. Facebook has the most engaged users; 70% log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day. The bottom line is, basically everyone who uses the Internet as a means of communication is on Facebook regularly.
Younger Users Depend on Twitter for News
No other medium in recent history has changed the way in which news is distributed more than Twitter. The microblogging site allows users to keep up with events in a real-time news feed and charges advertisers to promote their targeted messages. Of Twitter’s 271 million active users in 2014, 95 million were between the ages of 18 and 29. The site is also popular with older adults, with 54 million users between the ages of 30 and 59, and 44 million over the age of 50.
Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. Three out of 10 online urban residents use the site compared with 21% of suburbanites and 15% of those living in rural areas. The majority of regular Twitter users are male, while females tend to gravitate toward Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is more popular than other sites with the more affluent. The percentage of users with college educations and incomes over $50,000 is much higher than those of Facebook or Instagram. Twitter users are also quite diverse, with 20% of online Caucasians and 28% of online blacks and Hispanics being regular visitors.
Young People Cannot Survive Without Instagram
While the number of online American adults using Instagram doubled from 2012 to 2015, the photo- and video-sharing network has become completely entrenched in the lifestyles of younger Internet users. The migration of youth from Facebook to photo-sharing social networking sites such as Instagram explains why 53% of its 200 million active users are between the ages of 18 and 29, most of whom are on the platform daily.
Over half of American teens and people in their early 20s are on Instagram, and it is even more heavily used among higher-income youth. Americans in this demographic rely heavily on mobile devices, and posts to Instagram can only be made using one, adding to its popularity. In its infancy, Instagram was heavily skewed toward female users. As of 2015, many more males have come on board and make up nearly 50% of daily Instagram users.