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New data reveals the latest trends in social media usage, including the rise of Reddit, TikTok, and Snapchat


Although Facebook has apparently lost some of its luster as the premier social platform, according to the latest Pew Research research, Facebook continues to be the most widely used.

For his survey of social media usage in 2021, Pew interviewed US $ 1,502 on their social media habits and provide an overview of key trends and changes in the acceptance and use of social media platforms. Which, given the events of the past 12 months, has been significantly impacted as usage spikes on most platforms – but as mentioned, Pew’s data shows that the big players stay in charge even as other apps gain traction.

First off, on general usage, Pew reports that YouTube and Facebook remain by far the most popular social apps for US users.

As explained by Pew:

“YouTube and Facebook continue to dominate the online landscape, with 81% and 69% respectively reporting ever using these sites. And YouTube and Reddit were the only two measured platforms that were seen statistically.” significant growth since 2019when the center was last asked about this subject via a telephone poll. “

This is interesting – while Facebook’s usage rate hasn’t changed since Pew’s last update, YouTube is up 8%, while Reddit adoption has increased 7% among survey participants. This underscores the rising potential of Reddit, which has made significant efforts to clean up its platform and improve its appeal to the mainstream in order to expand its revenue opportunities.

If you didn’t factor Reddit into your planning, it might well be worth a look. It’s still not as widely adopted as the other big social apps, but it’s rising and it might be worth considering.

As you can see, Pew’s data shows that too 40% of US adults use Instagram and around 30% Pinterest and LinkedIn, while TikTok is now used by 21% of the population.

But Pew also notes that Snapchat and TikTok are very popular with younger user groups.

“Even if other platforms don’t even come close to the total reach of YouTube or Facebook, there are certain websites or apps, especially Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, that have a particularly strong following among young adults. In fact, a majority of 18- out of 29-year-olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok. “

If you want to connect with a younger audience, these are the apps to explore while on Facebook and YouTube have the greatest reach among the elderly.

And as mentioned earlier, while Facebook has been speculating that Facebook is losing ground to other apps as it gets less cool and less fresh, Pew’s data shows it still has the most daily usage, beating IG and Snap.

Pew Research - Social Media Usage 2021

There is some additional consideration to this – as we noted earlier, further research would likely suggest that the average time they spend on the app is also likely to decrease as people check in to Facebook every day.

Facebook has become an important connection tool for many – you rely on you to be kept informed of important events in the life of friends and family, including birthdays, announcements, etc. That means most people check in to Facebook every morning, but many do would also spend more time consuming content on Instagram or TikTok, where these days there tend to be more engaging, immersive options to spend your time with.

That’s anecdotal – Facebook doesn’t provide any data on the time spent on the app, while using Facebook Groups also results in a lot of people still spending a lot of time looking into Facebook instead. But it seems that while Facebook remains an important connection tool, more users are spending more time elsewhere. We’ll have to wait and see if Facebook reveals more information on this.

For other annotations, Pew’s data also shows that

  • About half of Hispanic and black Americans are Instagram active compared to smaller proportions of white Americans.
  • About half of adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree report using LinkedIn, compared with significantly fewer proportions of those with college experience and those with high school degrees or less
  • Women continue to dominate Pinterest usage over men (46% vs. 16%).

These are some valuable insights into the latest usage trends that can help shape your digital marketing approach and reach. The numbers show exactly where your target market is most likely to be present. So if you are not already active on these platforms, it is time to move on and update your strategic approach.

You can read the full report “Social Media Use in 2021” from Pew Research here.


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