Study: Two-thirds of social media users are engaged in political activity

Roughly two-thirds of adult social media users in the United States have engaged in some form of political activity using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, according to a study released on Friday by the Pew Research Center.

The study found that 38 percent of adult social media users have "liked" or promoted material associated with politics or social issues. Around one-third of these users have turned to social networking sites to post their thoughts on politics and share content that someone had originally posted on political or social issues. 

In some cases, Pew observed that liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have different behavior when it comes to engaging in political activity on Twitter, Facebook and other sites. For example, liberal Democrats were slightly more likely than conservative Republicans to post links to political articles on social media sites. Around 39 percent of liberal Democrats versus 34 percent of conservative Republicans posted links to articles.

On the other hand, Republicans were generally more likely than Democrats on social media to re-share content that someone else had originally posted on political or social issues, and use social media to follow candidates and lawmakers. Around 32 percent of conservative Republicans followed candidates and officials on social media, while 27 percent of liberal Democrats did.

The social media behavior also varied by age group. Young adults were more likely to post links to political stories and share their views about political and social issues on social networking sites than older Americans, according to the study.

For the study, Pew surveyed 2, 253 adults this summer who are 18 years old or older.