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The World Wide Web turned 34 on March 12, 2023.  In this relatively short period of time, "going online" has become an integral part of many Americans' daily lives – at work, at home, and at leisure.  We now have a generation of consumers who never know life without being online, and even older segments of the population have incorporated the Internet into their routines.

From the PC as geek "toy", desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets have evolved into essential tools.  Consumers routinely seek out audio and editorial content online.  Ever-faster connections have led to the rise of online as a primary vehicle for video entertainment – to the point where the computer and mobile devices are now referred to as "second" and "third screens" respectively.

The Internet grew rapidly since its invention and in more recent years has been accompanied by the rise of mobile connectivity:

  • As of February 2022, there are an estimated 307.2 million active internet users in the United States.
    • Cellular mobile connections: 353.5 million
    • Active social media users: 270.1 million 

(Source: We Are Social; Hootsuite; DataReportal, Digital 2022: The United States of America)

  • Share of U.S. adults who subscribe to the internet in 2021 by age:
    • 18-29: 99%
    • 30-49: 98%
    • 50-64: 96%
    • 65+: 75%

(Source: Pew Research Center; 2021)

  • 96% of Millennials are more likely than Gen Z to say Facebook is their favorite platform.

(Source: GWI Core Q4 2023)

  • 40% of Gen Zers are more likely than Millennials to say that Instagram is their favorite platforms.

(Source: GWI Core Q4 2023)

  • 92% of U.S. households get internet service at home.

(Source: Leichtman Research Group, December 2023)

  • 59% of adults with an internet service at home watch video online daily.

(Source: Leichtman Research Group, December 2022)

  • Individuals ages 65+ account for 34% of those that do not get an internet service at home.

(Source: Leichtman Research Group, December 2022)

  • 70% of broadband subscribers agree that their internet service meets the needs of their household.

(Source: Leichtman Research Group, December 2023)

  • 84% of social media marketers say social media will become consumers preferred channel for customerservice in 2023.

(Source: Hubspot Blog Research, Social Media Trends 2023 Report)

  • 67% of homeowners have usage of the internet.

(Source: MRI-Simmons 2023 Fall Doublebase)

  • 16% of U.S. social media users spend more than 4 hours a day on social media.

(Source: GWI Core Q1 2023)

  • 53% of consumers say their social media usage has been higher over the last two years than the previous two years.

(Source: The Sprout Social Index, Break Through, 2023)

  • As of January 2023, approximately 92% of individuals in the United States accessed the internet - up from nearly 75% in 2012.

(Source: Statista, January 2023)

  • 59% of social media users have said they will use the same number of social media platforms in the next 6-12 months.

(Source: Nielsen 2023 Consumer Survey Report)

  • 24% of social media users have said they will use fewer social media platforms in the next 6-12 months.

(Source: Nielsen 2023 Consumer Survey Report)

  • 17% of social media users have said they will use more social media platforms in the next 6-12 months.

(Source: Nielsen 2023 Consumer Survey Report)

  • Number of internet and social media users in the United States as of January 2023 (Millions):
    • Internet Users - 331M
    • Social media Users - 239M

(Source: Statista, January 2024)

  • Consumers primary reasons for following a brand on social media:
    • To stay informed about new products or services - 68%
    • To have access to exclusive deals or promotions - 46%
    • To content they post is enjoyable and entertainment - 45%
    • To engage with the community or customers - 28%
    • Because their values or mission aligns with mine - 21%

(Source: The Sprout Social Index, Break Through, 2023)

  • How quickly consumers expect a response from brands on social media:
    • Within minutes - 16%
    • Within 1-2 hours - 23%
    • Same day - 30%
    • Within 2 business days - 19%
    • Response time does not matter - 12%

(Source: The Sprout Social Index, Break Through, 2023)

  • The most memorable brands on social media...:
    • Respond to customers - 51%
    • Prioritize original content over following trend topics - 38%
    • Prioritize engaging directly with their audience vs. publishing a lot of content - 37%
    • Publish timely, on-trend content - 33%
    • Highlight the stories of audiences over their audiences over their own products/services - 28%
    • Take risks with their content - 26%
    • Collaborate with content creators and influencers - 25%
    • Speak out about causes and news that align with their values - 25%

(Source: The Sprout Social Index, Break Through, 2023)

  • How consumers feel about brands using AI in social media:
    • 42% are slightly or very apprehensive
    • 34% are neutral
    • 24% are slightly or very excited

(Source: The Sprout Social Index, Break Through, 2023)

  • Most used websites and online services used in the U.S., as of December 2023:
    • Search engines - 97%
    • Social media websites and apps - 60%
    • Online stores - 56%
    • Video websites and apps - 54%
    • Company websites and apps - 38%
    • News websites and apps - 32%
    • Blogs - 17%
    • Newsletters - 16%
    • None of the above - 2%

(Source: Statista, December 2023)

  • Internet Service Providers used in Households:
    • Xfinity/Comcast – 22%
    • Spectrum – 21%
    • AT&T Internet – 13%
    • Verizon/Fios by Verizon – 9%
    • Cox – 4%
    • CenturyLink – 3%
    • Optimum – 3%
    • Frontier – 2%
    • America On-Line (AOL) – 1%
  • (Source: MRI-Simmons 2023 Fall Doublebase)

    Twitter users by gender and whether they expect to be on the platform in a year from now:

    • Extremely/Very:
      • Total - 40%
      • Men - 47%
      • Women - 31%
    • Somewhat:
      • Total - 35%
      • Men - 32%
      • Women - 39%
    • Not very/Not at all:
      • Total - 25%
      • Men - 20%
      • Women - 30%

    (Source: MediaPost, Survey of U.S. adults conducted March 13-19, 2023)

    Percentage (%) of generations who agree with the following:

    • "I worry I spend too much time on social media":
      • Gen Z - 35%
      • Millennials - 26%
      • Gen X - 21%
      • Boomers - 16%
    • "I am using social media less than I used to":
      • Gen Z - 21%
      • Millennials - 22%
      • Gen X - 21%
      • Boomers - 21%

    (Source: GWI, Social Media by generation, September 2023)

    Percentage (%) of social media users, by generation, who say they mainly use platforms for the following reasons:

    • Keeping in touch with friends/family:
      • Gen Z - 46%
      • Millennials - 49%
      • Gen X - 55%
      • Boomers - 60%
    • Filling spare time:
      • Gen Z - 42%
      • Millennials - 38%
      • Gen X - 36%
      • Boomers - 34%
    • Finding content:
      • Gen Z - 34%
      • Millennials - 31%
      • Gen X - 28%
      • Boomers - 24%
    • Seeing what's trending/what's being talked about:
      • Gen Z - 32%
      • Millennials - 30%
      • Gen X - 27%
      • Boomers - 22%
    • Reading news stories:
      • Gen Z - 31%
      • Millennials - 36%
      • Gen X - 39%
      • Boomers - 41%

    (Source: GWI, Social Media by generation, September 2023)

    Percentage (%) of social media users, by generation, who say they follow these certain accounts:

    • Family, friends, or other people you may know:
      • Gen Z - 47%
      • Millennials - 47%
      • Gen X - 50%
      • Boomers - 53%
    • Entertainment, memes, or parody accounts:
      • Gen Z - 37%
      • Millennials - 30%
      • Gen X - 20%
      • Boomers - 13%
    • Actors, comedians, or other performers:
      • Gen Z - 36%
      • Millennials - 31%
      • Gen X - 23%
      • Boomers - 16%
    • Bands, singers, or other musicians:
      • Gen Z - 32%
      • Millennials - 28%
      • Gen X - 22%
      • Boomers - 17%
    • Influencers or other experts:
      • Gen Z - 28%
      • Millennials - 24%
      • Gen X - 18%
      • Boomers - 11%
    • TV Shows or channels:
      • Gen Z - 26%
      • Millennials - 30%
      • Gen X - 27%
      • Boomers - 24%

    (Source: GWI, Social Media by generation, September 2023)

    Adult ownership of cell phones has also soared:

    • As of 2023, 94% of U.S. adults have a smartphone.
      • 74% of households only have a cell phone and no landline.

    (Source: MRI-Simmons 2023 Fall Doublebase)

    • In 2023, there were about 337 million mobile internet users in the U.S.

    (Source: Statista, October 2023 )

    • 64% of U.S. adults have used their smartphone for online shopping in the past year

    (Source: Statista Global Consumer Survey, April 2022)

    • In Q2 2021, online orders placed from a smartphone had an average value of $134.39

    (Source: Monetate; Kibo, EQ2 2021)

    • In April 2023, Google accounted for 95% of the mobile search market in the United States.

    (Source: Statista, May 2023)

    Social media use plays a big part in American lives today

    • An estimated 235MM people 12+ are using social media in 2024

    (Source: The Infinite Dial 2024 - Edison Research/Audacy/Cumulus Media/SiriusXM Media)

    Social Media Usage by demographic:

    • Total
      • Facebook - 63%
      • Instagram - 44%
      • TikTok - 35%
      • Pinterest - 28%
      • LinkedIn - 27%
      • Snapchat - 25%
      • X/Twitter - 19%
    • Hispanics
      • Facebook - 63%
      • Instagram - 47%
      • TikTok - 47%
      • Pinterest - 24%
      • LinkedIn - 19%
      • Snapchat - 30%
      • X/Twitter - 17%
    • African-Americans
      • Instagram - 5%
      • Facebook - 64%
      • TikTok - 44%
      • Pinterest - 32%
      • LinkedIn - 36%
      • Snapchat - 34%
      • X/Twitter - 24%

    Social media brand awareness by demographic:

    • Total
      • Facebook - 94%
      • Instagram - 92% 
      • TikTok - 91%
      • Snapchat - 85%
    • Hispanics
      • Facebook - 93%
      • Instagram - 86%
      • TikTok - 90%
      • Snapchat - 80%
    • African-Americans
      • Facebook - 92%
      • Instagram - 95%
      • TikTok - 90%
      • Snapchat - 85%

    (Source: The Infinite Dial 2024, A Look at Hispanics & African-Americans)

    • Most used social media platforms among 16-64 year olds in the U.S.:
      • Facebook - 74.2%
      • Facebook Messenger - 61.1%
      • Instagram - 60.7%
      • TikTok - 42.4%
      • Twitter - 41.8%
      • IMessage - 40.2%
      • Pintrest - 39%
      • Snapchat - 38.7%
      • LinkedIn - 28.7%
      • WhatsApp - 28.6%

    (Source: We Are Social; Hootsuite; DataReportal, Digital 2021: July Global)

    • Social media platforms that brands believe can deliver a positive ROI:
      • LinkedIn - 70%
      • Instagram - 68%
      • WhatsApp - 66%
      • Facebook - 62%
      • BeReal - 60%
      • YouTube - 52%
      • TikTok - 50%
      • Snapchat - 45%
      • Reddit - 43%
      • Pinterest - 36%
      • Twitter/X - 30%
      • Threads - 16%

    (Source: Hootsuite Social Trends 2024 Survey)

    • Social media platforms that organizations have a strong presence on:
      • Facebook - 91%
      • Instagram - 86%
      • LinkedIn - 80%
      • Twitter/X - 66%
      • YouTube - 62%
      • TikTok - 29%
      • Pinterest - 19%
      • Threads - 16%
      • Reddit - 14%
      • WhatsApp - 5%
      • Snapchat - 4%
      • BeReal - 1%

    (Source: Hootsuite Social Trends 2024 Survey)

    • Platforms that are more effective for building an active community on social media:
      • Instagram - 25%
      • Facebook - 25%
      • YouTube - 15%
      • TikTok - 10%
      • Twitter - 7%
      • LinkedIn - 6%

    (Source: Hubspot Blog Research, Social Media Trends 2023 Report)

    • U.S. social media users agree:
      • That social media companies should do more to protect data - 34%
      • That they try to limit their time on social media - 34%
      • They prefer sharing content with friends/relatives privately - 32%
      • That social media helps them feel more connected to other people - 32%
      • That they are using social media less than they are used to - 26%
      • That they think social media is good for society - 18%
      • That they feel left out if they don't check social media often - 14%
      • They've posted comments that they would never say in real life - 9%
      • That they are more vocal about brands because of social media - 9%

    (Source: GWI USA Q1 2023)

      Top 3 social media platforms (by generation):

      • Gen Z:
        • Instagram - 30%
        • TikTok - 21% 
        • WhatsApp - 13%
      • Millennials:
        • Instagram - 25%
        • WhatsApp - 18%
        • Facebook - 17%
      • Gen X:
        • WhatsApp - 23%
        • Facebook - 22%
        • Instagram - 15%
      • Baby boomers:
        • Facebook - 26%
        • WhatsApp - 24%
        • Instagram - 4%

      (Source: GWI Core Q4 2023)

      • How U.S. users support content creators:
        • By consuming their content - 44%
        • By sharing their channel - 34%
        • By giving feedback - 24%
        • By buying their products/services - 14%
        • By paying for a regular subscription - 13%
        • By sending a virtual tip - 8%

      (Source: GWI Core Q1 2023 and GWI Zeitgeist January 2023)

        Top ways that new brands/products were discovered (by generation):

        • Gen Z:
          • Social media ads - 31%
          • Search engines - 28% 
          • TV ads - 27%
        • Millennials:
          • Search engines- 32%
          • TV ads - 29%
          • Social media ads - 29%
        • Gen X:
          • Search engines - 36%
          • TV ads - 35%
          • Word-of-mouth recommendations - 32%
        • Baby boomers:
          • TV ads - 39%
          • Search engines - 36%
          • Word-of-mouth recommendations - 35%

        (Source: GWI Core Q4 2023)

        • Percentage (%) of those who have a profile on a certain platform:
          • Facebook - 93%
          • Facebook Messenger - 86%
          • Instagram - 68%
          • YouTube - 65%
          • LinkedIn - 65%
          • Pinterest - 54%
          • Twitter/X - 47%
          • Nextdoor - 40%
          • WhatsApp - 34%
          • TikTok - 33%
          • Snapchat - 33%
          • Reddit - 23%
          • MySpace - 16%
          • Threads - 13%
          • Twitch - 11%
          • Clubhouse - 3%

        (Source: JacobsMedia Techsurvey 2024, Radio in the AI Era)

        • Percentage (%) of those who use these platforms daily:
          • Facebook - 73%
          • Facebook Messanger - 38%
          • Instagram - 46%
          • YouTube - 36%
          • LinkedIn - 12%
          • Pinterest - 12%
          • Twitter/X - 29%
          • Nextdoor - 21%
          • WhatsApp - 17%
          • TikTok - 39%
          • Snapchat - 27%
          • Reddit - 21%
          • MySpace - 3%
          • Threads - 18%
          • Twitch - 13%
          • Clubhouse - 23%

        (Source: JacobsMedia Techsurvey 2024, Radio in the AI Era)

        • Main reasons for internet users to use social media as of 2023:
          • Keeping in touch with family - 47%
          • Filling spare time - 36%
          • Reading news stories - 34%
          • Finding content - 30%
          • Seeing what's being talked about - 29%

        (Source: dataportal.com, June 2023)

        • Percentage on different generations consuming news on Social Media:
          • Generation Z – 35%
          • Millennials – 32%
          • Boomers – 21%
          • Generation X – 8%

        (Source: Digital media trends, 15th edition, April 2021)

        • Percentage of U.S. adults who say they get news from social media in 2023:
          • Never – 23%
          • Rarely – 25%
          • Sometimes – 35%
          • Often – 16%

        (Source: Pew Research, Survey of U.S. adults conducted Sep. 25 - Oct. 1, 2023)

      • On social media platforms, these generations would rather see ads personalized to their likes and activity than generic ones:
        • Generation Z – 62%
        • Millennials – 72%

      (Source: Digital media trends, 15th edition, April 2021)

    • Leading social media platforms used by small businesses to advertise:
      • Facebook - 66%
      • YouTube - 42%
      • Instagram - 41%
      • Snapchat - 15%
      • TikTok - 12%

    (Source: The Manifest 2021 Small Business Survey)

  • Different activities that people engage in with social media (%):
    • Read or watch news – 27%
    • Listen to music – 28%
    • Watch TV shows and movies – 23%
    • Shop – 17%
    • Play video games – 22%
    • Watch sports – 13%
  • (Source: Digital media trends, 16th edition, March 2022)

  • Percentage of consumers, by generation, who search for brands on social media more often than search engines:
    • Gen Z (18-24) – 36%
    • Millennials (25-34) – 22%
    • Gen X (35-54) – 21%
    • Boomers (55+) – 6%
  • (Source: Hubspot Blog Research, Social Media Trends 2023 Report)

    Clubhouse made it's debute in April 2020 and is an invite-only, audio-based social media platform.

    • There are 10MM weekly active global users

    (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub; CNBC; Statista, April 2021)

    • In June 2021, Clubhouse was downloaded about 8MM times

    (Source: AppMagic, July 2021)

    Top 5 trending topics on Clubhouse worldwide (in millions)

    • Sales - 564
    • Social media - 532
    • Deep Tech - 528
    • Startups - 464
    • Business - 194 

    (Source: britopian.com & Brandwatch, June 2021)

    Amount of time A18+ use Clubhouse 

    • At least once a day - 44%
    • At least once a week - 28%
    • At least once a month - 15%
    • Less than once a month - 13%

    (Source: Edison Research; Inside Radio, May 2021)

    • In Q4 2023, TikTok had 232MM downloads
      • Q4 2022, TikTok had 198MM downloads

    (Source: Statista, January 2024)

    • As of January 2024, the U.S. had 148 million users engaging with the platform.

    (Source: Statista, January 2024)

    • In August 2022, the daily minutes each visitor spent on TikTok was 95 minutes

    (Source: Sensor Tower, August 2022)

    Most popular TikTok content categories globally (in billions) as of July 2020:

    • Entertainment - 535
    • Dance - 181
    • Pranks - 79
    • Fitness/Sports - 57
    • Home reno/DIY - 39

    (Source: Mediakix, July 2020)

    Distribution of TikTok users in the U.S. in 2023, by age group:

    • 18-24 - 37%
    • 25-34 - 33%
    • 35-44 - 16%
    • 45-54 - 8%

    (Source: Mega Digital, December 2023)

    As online populations continue to grow, and time spent with digital media, marketers are diverting more of their ad budgets to online, with digital advertising becoming the #1 media category. 

    • As of Q2 2022, retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. has accounted for over 257.3 billion

    (Source: US Census Bureau, Quarterly Retail E-commerce Sales in the United States, August 2022)

    • YouTube Shorts are averaging a total of 50-billion views per day, significantly behind Instagram Reels with 140-billion views per day.

    (Source: WRAC Media, May 2023)

    • 68% of consumers purchased directly from a social media platform in 2022.
      • 98% consumers plan to make at least one purchase through social shopping or influencer commerce this year.

    (Source: Sprout Social Inc., February 2022)

    Consumer formats consumers want brands to focus on in 2024:

    • Short-form videos (< 15 seconds) - 42%
    • Short-form videos (15 - 30 seconds) - 39%
    • Static images - 30%
    • Influencer content - 26%
    • Short-form videos (31 - 60 seconds) - 24%
    • Live video - 24%
    • GIFS/Memes - 20%
    • User-generated content - 15%
    • Long-term video (> 60 seconds) - 14%
    • Text-only content - 10%

    (Source: SproutSocial Inc., 2024 Content Benchmark Report)

    For additional information/insights on Digital (Internet/Mobile/Social Media)

    IAB  (Interactive Advertising Bureau)
    http://www.iab.net

    Borrell Associates, Inc.
    https://www.borrellassociates.com

    comScore, Inc.
    http://www.comscore.com

    eMarketer
    http://www.emarketer.com

    Nielsen
    http://www.nielsen.com

    Pew Research Internet Project
    http://www.pewinternet.org