Our latest report takes a quick but informative look at why Americans use social media:
Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.
Other factors play a much smaller role—14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use social media, and 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism (a fellow Pew Research project) and The Economist Group have collaborated on the most comprehensive and detailed analysis to date of tablet users and how they get news on their tablets: To what extent are people using their tablets for news rather than other activities? Are they getting more news now than before they had their tablets?
The multi-phase study of nearly 1,200 tablet users and nearly 900 tablet news users offers unprecedented findings on many questions, and will be available on www.journalism.org on Tuesday, October 25.