Pew Research Center just published a study describing the demographics of social media users in 2013. The actual report in PDF can be downloaded. A summary of the report can be found in an Adweek article by Lucia Moses. A quick overall summary of the findings are:

  • Facebook is especially appealing to women, adults ages 18-29.
  • Twitter is especially appealing to adults ages 18-29, African-Americans, and urban residents.
  • Pinterest is especially appealing to women, adults under 50, whites, those with some college education.
  • Instagram is especially appealing to adults ages 18-29, African-Americans, Latinos, women, and urban residents
  • Tumblr is especially appealing to adults ages 18-29.

Teaching Suggestion: Divide students into teams and assign one of the social network sites to each group. Have them create graphs of the demographic data provided in the report then do additional research on each social site, what the site offers and why it may appeal to the particular demographics identified in the Pew Research Center study. Each group can then give an oral presentation in a future class period.

Alternative Teaching Suggestion: Show the class the summary of each social networking site then discuss why each appeals to those particular demographic groups. A general discussion may also center on why these sites are more appealing to women than men, younger individuals compared to older individuals, and to minority groups.

About Dr. Ken Clow

Co-author of textbook.

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