Pew Research Center: The pace with which users have flocked to social networking sites has been staggering; in a first survey about social networking sites in February 2005, just 8% of internet users -- or 5% of all adults -- said they used them.
Now, a new survey by Pew internet & American Life Project finds that 65% say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. Only email and search engines are used more frequently than social networking tools.
That's more than double the percentage that reported social networking site usage in 2008 (29%). And for the first time in Pew Internet surveys, it means that more than half of all adults (51%) use social networking sites.
Among internet users, social networking sites are most popular with women, young adults under age 30, and parents.
Young adult women ages 18-29 are the power users of social networking; fully 89% of those who are online use the sites overall and 69% do so on an average day.
As of May 2011, there are no significant differences in use of social networking sites based on race and ethnicity, household income, education level, or whether the internet user lives in an urban, suburban, or rural environment.