The latest Pew Research Center data released earlier this month on social media platforms and their influence reveals that Facebook, as it did in 2015, not only led all other platforms by a wide margin but actually increased their dominant position.
Facebook's online user population, 79 percent of all adults using the internet, more than doubled their nearest competitors, Instagram (32%, owned by Facebook) and Pinterest (31%). The combination of the Facebook and Instagram platforms under a single organizational umbrella make Facebook ads the compelling choice across a number of important metrics: reach and engagement primary among them. When you take out Facebook ads you get Instagram ads in the package. Right now other platforms are either struggling for relevance (Twitter) or playing some serious catch up.
Facebook's trouncing of "lesser" platforms doesn't mean the other channels should be disregarded. If social media teaches us anything, it is that discreet segmentation and niche markets abound based on different platforms. Facebook's 7 percent growth in 2016 was due in large part to an increase of older Americans' use of the platform. Young adults are still using the platform at a high rate but the growth, as it was in 2015, has been in older Americans.
If you're looking to reach younger adults, Instagram, with their roughly six in 10 online adult usage ages 18-29, is a platform that should be leveraged. If you want to reach women, Pinterest is the place to be. Continuing a long-standing trend, women use Pinterest at much higher rates than men. Nearly half of online women use the virtual pinboard (45%), more than double the share of online men (17%) who do so.
The full text of Pew's Findings can be found here
Demographic comparison of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest social media channels.