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YouTube is the most popular social network among American adults according to a large new study from Pew Research Center.

The new report includes findings on social media use among adults from a nationally representative phone survey conducted earlier this year.

Overall, the results showed that social media usage has largely remained stagnant over the past few years, with just two notable exceptions.

“YouTube and Reddit were the only two platforms measured that saw statistically significant growth since 2019,” the reports stated.

Out of all platforms, YouTube had the highest usage with 81% of adults who used any kind of social media saying they used the video streaming service. 

Facebook unsurprisingly came not far behind, with 69% saying they use the platform. In third place was Instagram with 40% of respondents saying they use the social network. 

You can see the full list of social networks and the percent of US adults who use them below:

  • YouTube (81%)
  • Facebook (69%)
  • Instagram (40%)
  • Pinterest (31%)
  • LinkedIn (28%)
  • Snapchat (25%)
  • Twitter (23%)
  • WhatsApp (23%)
  • TikTok (21%)
  • Reddit (18%)
  • Nextdoor (13%)

As the report concludes:

“YouTube is the most commonly used online platform asked about in this survey, and there’s evidence that its reach is growing. Fully 81% of Americans say they ever use the video-sharing site, up from 73% in 2019. Reddit was the only other platform polled about that experienced statistically significant growth during this time period – increasing from 11% in 2019 to 18% today.”

Beyond these broad findings, the report also includes demographic breakdowns for each platform and other findings, which you can see below:

YouTube Usage Statistics

  • 95% of US adults ages 18 to 29 say they use YouTube
  • 91% of US adults ages 30 to 49 say they use YouTube
  • 49% of US adults ages 65 and older say they use YouTube
  • 54% of YouTube users say they visit the site daily
  • 36% of YouTube users say they visit the site several times a day

Facebook Usage Statistics

  • 70% of US adults ages 18 to 29 say they use Facebook
  • 77% of US adults ages 30 to 49 say they use Facebook
  • 73% of US adults ages 50 to 64 say they use Facebook
  • 50% of US adults ages 65 and older say they use Facebook
  • 70% of Facebook users say they visit the site daily
  • 49% of Facebook users say they visit the site several times a day

Instagram Usage Statistics

  • 71% of US adults ages 19 to 29 say they use Instagram
  • 52% of Hispanic Americans say they use Instagram
  • 49% of Black Americans say they use Instagram
  • 35% of White Americans say they use Instagram
  • 59% of all Instagram users say they visit the site daily
  • 73% of 18- to 29-year-old Instagram users say they visit the site every day
  • 53% of 18- to 29-year-old Instagram users say they visit the site several times a day

Other Usage Statistics

  • 46% of Twitter users say they visit the site every day
  • 65% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Snapchat
  • 2% of adults ages 65 and older say they use Snapchat
  • 50% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use TikTok
  • Those with higher levels of education are more likely to use LinkedIn than those with lower levels of education
  • 51% of US adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree say they use LinkedIn
  • 28% of US adults with only some college experience say they use LinkedIn
  • 10% of US adults with a high school diploma or less say they used LinkedIn
  • 46% of women use Pinterest, compared to 16% of men
  • Adults living in urban (17%) or suburban (14%) areas are more likely to say they use Nextdoor
  • 2% of rural Americans say they use Next-door

To view the full report, click here.

After months of rumors, Twitter has confirmed it is launching a subscription-like feature which allows users to pay for premium content from content creators or influencers on the platform.

The company previewed the new feature it is calling “Super Follow” at its investor-focused Analyst Day event last week, along with a few other new features which are coming to the platform soon.

What Is Twitter’s “Super Follow”?

Super Follow will soon allow creators, influencers, and brands to monetize their tweets, similar to platforms like Patreon or YouTube Subscriptions.

“Twitter is working on a “Super Follow” function that can be used to earn money directly on the platform. Here are the first screenshots”

For a monthly fee, Twitter users can sign up to get exclusive content and perks from a select creator, including:

  • A supporter badge
  • Access to a subscriber-only newsletter
  • Exclusive content
  • Exclusive promotions and discounts
  • VIP community access

Unlike what you can find on sites like Patreon, Super Follow is a one-size-fits-all feature amd does not allow for separate tiers for fans or support.

While the specific revenue split is not clear, Twitter says creators will be able to earn money directly through Super Follow, making this a viable way to increase revenue from social media. This will likely also make Super Follow an attractive option for publishers hoping to find a new source of revenue other than digital advertising placements on their site.

Twitter Communities Take On Facebook Groups

Another upcoming feature highlighted at the Analyst Day event was the launch of Twitter Communities.

Similar to Facebook Groups, Communities allows users to join together around common interests or topics.

Details about the feature are hard to come by, but images shared by those who attended the event show a conversation hub which may make discussions easier for larger communities. 

Otherwise, the layout, design, and features look distinctly familiar to anyone who has been active on Facebook Groups in the past few years.

Twitter’s Goals for 2021 and Beyond

To close out the presentation, Twitter listed three specific goals to achieve in the future:

  • Double development velocity by the end of 2023, which means doubling the number of features shipped per employee that directly drive either mDAU (monetized daily active users)  or revenue.
  • Reach at least 315 million mDAU in Q4 2023, which represents a ~20% compound annual growth rate from the base of 152 million mDAU reported in Q4 2019, which was the most recently reported mDAU when Twitter first announced this ambition in March of 2020.
  • At least double total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023.

Snapchat has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and now the company claims its content reaches over 70% of 13 to 24-year-olds across the countries making up more than half of all digital ad spend. 

This reveal came as part of Snapchat’s first-ever investor day, this week.

Snapchat Details User Growth In Surprising Demographics

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Snapchat unveiled several key statistics to shareholders.

Broadly, the company says the “Snapchat Generation” includes up to 40% of consumers around the world.

Despite the perception that the social network’s users are overwhelmingly young, Snapchat also says approximately 80% of its audience is over the age of 18. Based on this level of growth with new audiences, the company believes it will see 50% annual growth in revenue every year for the foreseeable future.

Although most of the information provided focused on big-picture statistics like revenue and audience growth, the shareholder presentation did disclose a few more specific details about how users are interacting with the app. Specifically, they said that Snapchat users open the app 30 times a day on average, every day

Additionally, the company shared that users who try AR filters to try on products are 2.4 times more likely to convert, implying an interest in further investing in this area.

The Future of Snapchat Advertising

One of the main ways Snapchat aims to meet its goal of 50% YoY revenue growth is by continuing to expand its advertising platform.

In its current state, Snapchat’s revenue largely comes from the standard vertical video ads which appear between Stories. However, increasing the number of these ads could drive away users.

Instead of increasing the number of vertical video ads, Snapchat says it plans to find new areas of the app which can be monetized, including placing ads in the Snap Map and Spotlight sections.

With over 35 million businesses already present on the Snap Map, Snap Inc.’s chief business officer, Jeremi Gorman, believes they will see massive interest when rolling out ads in this area of the app.

Driven by the existing success of AR filters, Snapchat also plans to incorporate new augmented reality features and AR-based ad options.

Perhaps most importantly for smaller brands who can’t work directly with Snapchat for the more customized ad options (such as AR or custom filters), the company also says it will be investing in more comprehensive and easier to use tools to buy and run ads through its self-service ad platform.

This means smaller brands will potentially be able to get their hands on some of the more effective and exciting ad options which have only been available to a select few brands on the platform in the past.


Overall, the presentation from the company gives a very optimistic view for the future. With its user-base beginning to age into adulthood, Snapchat is positioned to directly connect brands with some of the most active and engaged users on any social platform out there.

Getting your customers to share user-generated content like pictures with your products may be an unexpectedly powerful tool in swaying over other shoppers.

A new report from eMarketer claims that 62% of consumers are strongly influenced by user-generated content, including being more likely to buy after seeing pictures of a product shared by other shoppers. 

The survey included consumers from around the globe, including in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK.

Why Shoppers Like Customer Photos and Videos

When asked why shoppers responded so strongly to user-generated content like customer photos, the surveyed consumers said:

  • It may highlight something that wasn’t obvious (24%)
  • Like to see a product in action before they buy (21%)
  • Feel more confident that the reviews are accurate (17%)
  • It’s easier to see the quality of a product (17%)
  • It’s easier to see the size/fit or color of a product (11%)
  • It’s easier to see the material of a product (7%)

Unsurprisingly, social media is largely where shoppers are finding this type of content. The survey says more than a quarter of respondents pointed to Facebook as the best place to find customer photos or videos, followed by Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat. 

With all this in mind, eMarketer principal analyst Jeremy Goldman believes user-generated content will only grow in importance for brands.

“Consumers are less trusting of the mainstream media and slick corporate marketing, turning instead to user-generated content and influencers to find their own truth.

“Why would brands spend more time and money on large-scale productions when this option exists, particularly in a world where content must be created and shifted quickly?”

Although the report largely identifies social networks as the key place for user-generated content, it is worth noting that many online retailers are also allowing customers to upload images with products directly in their reviews. By doing this, other shoppers can find this type of information without ever having to leave the page to buy your products.

YouTube’s latest video format, called YouTube Shorts, is finally coming to the USA next month, after several months of testing internationally.

The short (15 seconds or less) vertical video format was first rolled out as a beta test in India back in September 2020. Though it may have taken a little bit to catch on, YouTube says that the number of channels using the video format has more than tripled since December.

Currently, the platform says YouTube Shorts are getting more than 3.5 billion daily views in India alone. 

Come March, US users will be able to see what all the buzz about as the format and associated video creation tools arrive in America.

What Are YouTube Shorts?

Unsurprisingly, many have compared YouTube Shorts to TikTok clips or the popular Stories format found on several other platforms. This is because YouTube Shorts share a number of features with the increasingly trendy format:

  • Users can create and upload short videos of 15 seconds or less.
  • Edit your videos with a range of creative tools.
  • Stitch several short clips together with a multi-segment editor.
  • Add licensed music to your videos through YouTube’s music library.
  • Speed up or slow down your video footage for dramatic effect.
  • Use timers and countdowns to plan your video shoots.

Additionally, the company says it is introducing a carousel on the YouTube homepage dedicated completely to Shorts.

YouTube Shorts Aim To Make Content Creation Easier For All

One of YouTube’s biggest goals with the new video format is to make the barrier to content creation and exposure on the platform lower for new creators:

“Every year, increasing numbers of people come to YouTube to launch their own channel. But we know there’s still a huge amount of people who find the bar for creation too high.

That’s why we’re working on Shorts, our new short-form video tool that lets creators and artists shoot snappy videos with nothing but their mobile phones.”

With YouTube Shorts users can immediately start creating their own content without the need for high-quality equipment or editing skills.

Even more enticing, YouTube says it is going to count Shorts views the same way as regular video views – creating a fast pathway for big metrics for new users. This will also make it easier for new users to reach the milestones needed to monetize content through the YouTube Partner Program.

More is sure to come in the next few weeks as YouTube seems poised to prioritize Shorts in big ways. 

In the next few weeks, the company is launching a dedicated biweekly Shorts Report to highlight all the latest updates and provide useful tips to users. Keep your eyes peeled as new info as the biweekly reports start arriving and YouTube Shorts finally come to the US.

When you think of Pinterest users, most automatically imagine the same general audience – a woman in her 20’s or 30’s. That is slowly changing, however, as a new report from the network shows its users are getting more diverse than ever.

According to the company’s latest quarterly revenue report [PDF], Pinterest’s average monthly active users (MAUs) around the globe has risen 37%, largely driven by increasing popularity with new audiences like men, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Pinterest Rivals Snapchat and TikTok

To put the growth experienced by Pinterest in context, the number of monthly active users puts Pinterest in the same ranks as Snapchat and TikTok – two of the hottest platforms for younger users.

In Q4 of 2020, Pinterest say 98 million monthly active users in the US, while TikTok reported approximately 100 million MAUs. Meanwhile, Snapchat claimed 108 million active U.S. users just last month.

The biggest difference is that although Snapchat and TikTok shot to extreme popularity over relatively short periods of time, Pinterest has consistently been growing for much of its existence. It was only a matter of time before it started to challenge some of the other most popular platforms.

Who Are Pinterest’s New Users?

According to Pinterest, three groups are driving the majority of the company’s growth in recent history – men, Gen Z, and Millennials. As the company stated in a post from July 31, 2020:

“Gen Z and Millennials are driving much of our growth, with the number of men on Pinterest also jumping nearly 50% year on year, too.”

Notably, it seems each demographic is creating their own unique trends on the platform, motivated by their unique needs at their varying stages of life. 

For example, Gen Z pinners have inspired a wave of beauty trends focused on ethically expressing themselves, including trending keywords like “Indie beauty” and “Rainbrows.”

On the other hand, Millennials are participating more in trends like “More door” which help make them make the most of their homes.

As for men, it seems a lot of the attraction is the popularity of food and DIY projects. 

As Pinterest’s users and trends continue to diversify, it only makes sense that the company has been expanding the tools and features available to make it easier to target specific audiences across the platform. If this pattern continues, it is possible Pinterest could be the sleeper hit which one day could be as widely used as Instagram, Twitter, or even Facebook.

Google is warning brands that Web Stories which don’t follow through on their promised content may but cut from appearing in Google Search and Google Discover.

In an announcement, the company explained that users have expressed disinterest in Web Stories which “tease” content but require users to click through to get the full experience. As such, brands using this style of Web Story run the risk of having their content demoted.

What Are Google Web Stories?

Google’s take on the popular Story format first appeared back in 2018, going by the name of AMP Stories. 

These quick, visual posts or ads function almost identically to Facebook or Instagram Stories, but appear within the Google mobile app when exploring the Discover tab or searching for websites.

One thing that makes Google’s version of these posts unique, however, is that Web Stories can easily be shared to any platform, including competing social networks.

What This Change Means For You

In the announcement, Google’s Paul Bakaus explains that “a one- or two-page teaser for your blog post doesn’t tell a satisfying story to a reader, so Google will do its very best to not show these to users.”

With this in mind, Google is planning to stop showing “teaser” based Web Stories across its platform. 

If you are concerned your Web Stories may be affected, Google recommends following a few Do’s and Don’ts:

Dos:

  • A shopping inspiration list that highlights products and links out to places where you can buy them.
  • A short version of a recipe with complete ingredients listed that leaves more detailed instructions behind a click.

Don’ts:

  • A one-page story that mentions a recipe in the headline, but is just a bunch of photos that redirect to the website.
  • A list highlighting beautiful cities in Europe, but just listing a city and a photo and pointing to the blog link for any actual information.

It is worth noting that the above example image Google shows of a recipe web story actually clearly falls into the “Don’t” category here. This highlights how unclear the actual implementation of this new policy is currently.

People are Tired of Clickbait

As Bakaus notes, users expect complete content from Stories, not a lure leading to a comprehensive blog post.

“Unfortunately, from what users are telling us, this isn’t what they want. Instead, web stories are best when they tell a full story and aren’t used to “tease” other content.

“Readers don’t like to feel forced to click through to a connected blog post to finish reading.”

How This Affects Monetization

One of the biggest reasons many brands used “teaser” Web Stories was to help drive traffic to their own monetized content. This new policy could potentially disrupt this strategy entirely. 

Despite this, Google urges you to “think about the users consuming [Web Stories] and how Google showcases them.”

At the same time, the company notes that “you can directly monetize Web Stories with in-between-page ads.”

Bakaus does admit this may not be as effective or lucrative, though the company hopes to improve this situation in the future:

“A well-optimized blog post might still make you more money today, but ad networks are working on building out and expanding their Web Story integrations, so you should see both CPMs and fill rates improve over time.”

You can hear Paul’s full explanation of the policy and the best practices for creating Web Stories in his Google Web Creators video below:

For the longest time, the conventional wisdom has held that Facebook is where people spend the majority of their screen time while using apps. According to a new report from App Annie, however, that has shifted over the past year.

For the first time ever, TikTok has taken the lead as the social app with the longest time spent per user.

Year-over-year, TikTok has leapt 325% in time spent, officially knocking Facebook out of the top spot.

Notably, this does not necessarily mean people are spending less time on Facebook. In fact, nearly every app in every market included in the report has seen increases in the time spent on their platform – likely due to the Coronavirus and social distancing measures.

Still, TikTok’s growth over the past year far outpaced any other platform, allowing it to take the lead compared to any other social app.

With this in mind, it is not a surprise to see that TikTok also took the top spot as the #1 breakout app of 2020 based on monthly active user growth.

Another key finding is that TikTok has risen to the #2 non-gaming apps when it comes to consumer spending. In addition to the traditional advertising services TikTok offers, it brings in additional revenue with purchasable digital goods. Surprisingly, this appears to have been a hit with users, contributing to a swell of revenue.

While this may be one of the most important takeaways from the report for brands trying to keep up with shifting audiences, the report also includes a few other interesting findings:

Mobile Adoption Leaps Forward

Based on App Annie’s data, mobile adoption has leapt forward by 2-3 years over the past year. Nearly every metric related to mobile use spiked.

This includes a 7% year-over-year increase in mobile app downloads, an 8%, which translates to 218 billion app downloads. 

This year also marks the first time Americans have spent more time on their mobile devices than they have spent watching TV. People spent 8% more time on their mobile devices compared to TVs (4 hours a day on mobile vs 3.7 hours watching TV).

People Watch 4x More YouTube Than Netflix

Based on app usage, YouTube is the unquestioned leader in video streaming. The app received more than 4x the time spent on the app per user compared to any other platform. Even Netflix was miles behind Google’s video platform.

Every month, the average user watches 23 hours of content on YouTube, compared to just 5.7 hours of Netflix shows or movies. This makes it clear that YouTube is the platform to focus on if you want to get video content in front of your target audience, whether it takes the form of advertisements or regular content.

Facebook is launching a massive overhaul of business and influencer Pages, including new features and tools to better connect with your customers and drive conversions. 

For influencers or individual entrepreneurs, the biggest change will likely be how Facebook displays your audience size. Instead of showing the total number of likes your page has, you will see your follower count.

While some might be frustrated to seemingly have their audience shrink suddenly, most agree that a Page’s follower count is a more important and informative metric. This is because your follower count tallies everyone who is actually receiving your posts or updates. Likes, on the other hand, include people who may have opted-out at some point in the past and don’t see anything your share. 

As for Business Pages, there are a number of new things you might be interested in. 

New Facebook Page Features and Tools

In the announcement, Facebook highlights five new features being introduced to Pages:

  • Dedicated News Feed
  • Easy navigation
  • Updated task-based admin controls
  • Actionable insights 
  • Safety and integrity features

Dedicated News Feeds

In the past, News Feeds were exclusively available to individual users, making it difficult to keep your public and private interests separate. Now, you have an entire feed specifically for your Page, so you can easily discover the latest news and trends from your community and business peers.

Additionally, Pages are being tweaked to showcase connections with other major influencers. If any public figures comment on your content, their interactions will get bumped to the top of your comment section. 

Easy Navigation

Another step towards making it easier to swap between your personal profile and Pages on the go is a redesigned navigation menu. 

By tapping the three-line icon on the bottom left of the main navigation menu, you can quickly select between your personal profile and content or features specifically related to your Page. 

Updated Task-Based Admin Controls

Facebook is making it easier to achieve your goals with specific admin control based on tasks. 

Now, you can assign a user a task and grant them specific levels of access to manage that task. 

For example, an individual can be granted access to tools specifically for Insights, Ads, Content, or Community Activity & Messages.

Actionable Insights

Facebook says it is bringing pages more actionable insights and more relevant notifications, though it provides no details about how this is being achieved. 

What we do know, from a new help page update, is that “Updated insights will help you understand your audience and how your content performs.”

Safety and Integrity Features

Lastly, Facebook is continuing its efforts to create a positive environment to connect with your fans and customers with new tools to identify spammy, hateful, or violent content. The platform says it is also working to crack down on impersonation, which has been a widespread issue recently across Facebook. 

For more information about the overhaul to Pages, read the full announcement here or explore the new help page.

Twitter announced this week that it is adding Snapchat implementation to make it easier to share tweets across the platforms.

Now, rather than having to take a screenshot of a tweet to share it on Snapchat, you can now directly add tweets to Snapchat stories. 

Twitter has historically not made it easy to share your tweets to other social networks, making screenshotting the simplest solution. With this move, though, the company seems to be starting to open the door to future cooperation with more platforms. For example, Twitter says it will soon be adding similar integration with Instagram. 

How Twitter’s Integration With Snapchat Works

Starting today, Snapchat users can share tweets from the Twitter app to their Snapchat Stories on iOS, with Android users receiving the feature in the near future. 

However, this does not mean you can simply cross-post to both platforms at the same time. 

Instead, you can only select a public tweet you or other users have already publicly posted and share it as part of a Snapchat story. 

Most importantly, this makes it easier for users to then interact with tweets they see on Snapchat. 

When tapped, the tweet opens in the Twitter app, where you can like, reshare, or reply using your Twitter account. 

How To Share a Tweet To Snapchat Stories

To add a tweet to your Snapchat Story on iOS, follow these steps:

  • Tap the share icon on any public tweet in the Twitter app.
  • Tap the Snapchat icon in the horizontal scroll of icons at the bottom of the screen. 
  • This will immediately take you to the camera screen in the Snapchat app, where the tweet will appear as an immovable sticker. 
  • Complete your snap as you normally would.
  • Pinch or swipe to move and resize the tweet sticker. 
  • Add any Snapchat Creative Tools you want, including captions, stickers, Filters, and more. Tap the Send icon in the bottom right to share the tweet in your Snapchat story or send it directly to other Snapchat users or groups.