Facebook remains king ahead of 2016

Facebook remains king ahead of 2016

Facebook remains king of the social media world, as 2016 candidates are increasingly using digital tools to interact with voters. 

A Pew Research poll released Wednesday found 72 percent of online adults use Facebook. That is 41 percentage points higher than the second-most popular platform, Pinterest, which is used by 31 percent of adults who use the Internet. 


Because of its already large penetration, Facebook has not grown as much as other platforms since 2012 — 67 percent to 72 percent today. 

Pinterest more than doubled its user base in the past three years. Similarly, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, increased its users from 13 percent to 28 percent. LinkedIn grew from 20 percent to 25 percent, and Twitter grew from 16 percent to 23 percent. 

Observers have noted that the because of Facebook’s huge scale, it will remain the dominant platform for campaigns. The company has beefed up its politics team to reach out to campaigns and has added new features such as the ability for candidates to upload their voter files to the platform this cycle. 

Wednesday’s poll also found users on Facebook are the most engaged, with 70 percent saying they visit the site daily. The next highest engagement rate is from Instagram, with 59 percent of users visiting the site daily. 

Large portions of every demographic use Facebook, regardless of income, education or location. Eighty-two percent of adults 29 years or younger use the platform, as do 79 percent of people aged 30-49. Sixty-four percent of people aged 50-64 use it. The only large drop comes from people aged 65 years or older, with 48 percent saying they use the platform. 

Messaging apps such as Snapchat that automatically delete messages have become increasingly popular and utilized on the campaign trail. Pew found that only about 17 percent of smartphone owners use a messaging app such as Snapchat or Wickr. Overall, 36 percent of smartphone owners say they use some type of messaging app. 

Apps such as Snapchat have a much higher penetration among adults aged 18-29, with 41 percent saying they use an app that automatically deletes messages. 

The poll surveyed 1,907 adults from March 17 to April 12. It contains a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent.