By Ada Erlandson: Client Relations Intern

Social media is an effective and popular communication tool throughout the globe. However, it is constantly changing. Media used by younger generations five years ago, may no longer be relevant for the same age group today. Therefore, as social media evolves, its users and its uses shift into new areas.

The Shift
Looking over the years, it is easy to see how social media has progressed. From the launch of Facebook to the creation of Snapchat, social media has expanded. According to Pew Research, the number of social media users in every age group has increased dramatically. In 2005, social media was used by only 12 percent of those between the ages of 18-29, and by 2 percent of those who were 65 and older. In 2015, social media was used by 90 percent of those between the ages 18-29, and by 35 percent of those who were 65 and older. In ten years, younger generations increased social media use by 78 percent. Older generations increased their usage by 33 percent. As these percentages continue to change, the types of social media change, as well.

Types of Social Media
Although there are several types of social media on the internet, Facebook remains the dominant network for all ages. Pew Research reports that Facebook is used by 71 percent of teenagers and by 72 percent of adults. However, teenagers have shifted toward other networks like Instagram and Snapchat more readily than adults using social media. Surprisingly, Twitter is not as popular among teens today, but remains a favorite among young adults especially in college. Now, let’s examine how this social media is being used.

Uses of Social Media
Social media is changing in new and inventive ways to communicate with a variety of audiences. Even though Facebook began with basic content, it has become a place to share videos, quizzes, news alerts, magazine articles, advertisements, and more from around the web. Look through your Facebook feed, and see how many posts are about actual experiences from friends. Most likely you won’t find very many. At least, this is becoming the trend on Facebook. Snapchat has also seen change in the past year by incorporating advertisements through discover options, interactive geofilters, and live video feeds. Video has become increasingly popular throughout all social media. Instagram recently added the ability to post videos, and Facebook has live video streaming from around the web. It is very likely such trends will continue into the future, and become of part of daily life.

Final Thoughts
Understanding the trends and shifts of social media is beneficial for targeting audiences. Knowing how social media is being used will allow you to harness marketing possibilities. As social media shifts, opportunities and audiences will increase. Today, 80% of internet users had a Facebook account and 40% of internet users used their accounts regularly.

Youtube= 60% and 25%

Twitter= 50% and 23%

Google += 60% and 20%

Instagram= 30% and 20%

Linkedin= 35% and 15%

Pinterest= 30% and 15%

Tumblr= 18% and 10%


In 2014 Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn were the fastest growing social sites. Facebook hardly grew any new members and decreased in actual use.

Age of Users:

Tumblr= 16-24 largest at 39%

Instagram= 16-24 largest at 37%


Age of adult Users: 2015

Facebook 72% of Internet users (18-29 is 82% 30-49 is 79% 50-64 is 64% and 65+ is 48%)

Pinterest 31% of Internet users ( 18-29 is 37%  30-49 is 36%  50-64 is 24%  65+ is 16%)

Instagram 28%  ( 18-29 is 55%  30-49 is 28% 50-64 is 11% 65+ is 4%)

Twitter 23%  ( 18-29 is 32%  30-49 is 29%  50-64 is 13%  65+ is 6%)

LinkedIn 25%  ( 18-29 is 22  30-49 is 32 50-64 is 26  65+ is 12)


Sites Engaged on Daily basis= Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin

13-17 social use age:

Facebook= 71% of all teens who use Facebook

Instagram= 52%

Snapchat= 41%

Twitter= 33%

Google += 33%

Vine= 24%

Tumblr= 14%

2005 ( 18-29= 12  30-49=8  50-64=5   65+=2 )

2009 ( 18-29=72  30-49=44 50-64=22  65+=7)

2012  ( 18-29=83 30-49=67 50-64= 43  65+=19)

2015  ( 18-29=90  30-49=77 50-64=51  65+=35)

If your business needs help utilizing social media, give us a call at 701-478-1111 and ask to speak with a Marketing Advisor, or visit We understand social media and would be happy to help.