More US Adults Than Teens Now on Social Networks

Growth in Use of Social Networks35% of US adults now have social network profiles, up from 8% in 2005.  That’s still a smaller proportion that the 65% of teens — but a larger number overall.

The just-released the results of the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking survey shows that the use of social media still skews toward younger adults and drops off dramatically in the older age groups.  Still, 30% of online adults age 35 – 44 means that a very large number of middle-age folk like myself are now using social media, primarily to keep up with friends.

The numbers are evenly split along gender lines.  Interestingly, black and Hispanic adults are more likely to have social profiles than whites.  Adult users also tend to be more urban.  Reflecting the higher concentration of users in the younger age groups, lower-income groups have a higher percentage of users.

When it comes to using social media for work-related activities, 28% percent say they use them to make new professional contacts or to promote themselves or their work.

You can download a PDF of the full report here.