Pew: More Than a Third of Smartphone Owners Use Messaging Apps

By Sonja Hegman Comment


A Pew Research study released today found that 36 percent of smartphone owners use messaging apps like Kik or iMessage, and another 17 percent use apps that automatically delete sent messages like Snapchat or Wickr.

The survey of more than 1,900 U.S. adults found that these apps are particularly popular among young adults — 49 percent of smartphone owners ages 18-29 use messaging apps, and 41 percent say they use apps that automatically delete sent messages.

The findings are based on telephone interviews conducted March 17 – April 12, 2015, of adults 18 and older living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Maeve Duggan, lead author and a research associate at Pew Research Center, said in a press release:

The emergence of messaging apps is noteworthy as these communication tools serve different social needs than traditional online social networks. The data also show how swiftly an already complex terrain of interaction is becoming more varied.

The study also found that the proportion of online adults who use Pinterest and Instagram has doubled since 2012.

  • 31 percent of online adults use Pinterest (up from 15 percent in 2012)
  • 28 percent use Instagram (up from 13 percent in 2012)
  • None of the social media platforms measured in this survey saw a statistically significant increase in usage between Sept. 2014 and April 2015

While overall usage has not changed, some sites have seen a significant rise in daily engagement.

  • 59 percent of Instagram users are on the platform daily—a 10-point increase from Sept. 2014
  • The proportion of Pinterest users who visit the platform daily rose from 17 percent in Sept. 2014 to 27 percent in April 2015
  • Daily users on LinkedIn increased from 13 percent to 22 percent over the same time period

The survey found that Facebook remains the most popular social media site with 72 percent of online adults saying they use it, although there has not been a significant change in the overall share of users since 2012. Those on Facebook are highly engaged, with 70 percent logging on daily, including 43 percent who do so several times a day.

A much smaller percentage use discussion forums. About 15 percent of internet users read or comment in discussion forums like Reddit, Digg, or Slashdot, with 10 percent using the website Tumblr. Young adults are particularly likely to use both Tumblr and discussion forums more generally, while men are more likely than women to participate in discussion forums online.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.