66% of online adults in the USA now use social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, and of those, two-thirds (67%) cited staying in touch with friends as their primary motivation, says the latest research from Pew Internet, who surveyed 2,277 users between April 26 and May 22, 2011.
64% stated that they use social media to stay in touch with family, and 50% use these platforms to re-connect with old friends.
Only 9% use social media sites primarily to make new friends, and just 3% for dating.
Social media users aged 50 years or younger are more likely to use these tools to connect with existing friends and reconnect with old ones – 70% cited this as a major reason.
Perhaps surprisingly, 74% of users stated that they had no interest in reading comments by celebrities, athletes and politicians. African Americans and Latinos show more interest in connecting with these kinds of individuals than white users, and Twitter users are generally more interested in celebrity interaction than those on other social channels.
While men are almost twice as likely than women to say that they use social media in part to find romantic partners (17% vs 9%), just 3% of all users stated this as a major motivation behind their social networking.