35% of adult Internet users have an online social profile

The share of adult internet users with a profile on a social network has quadrupled in the past 4 years, from 8% in '05 to 35% in '08, Pew Internet & American Life Project’s Dec. '08.

Younger adults much more likely to have profiles - 75% of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social network site. Social network users also more likely to be students - 68% of full-time students have a social network profile. Whites less likely than African-Americans or Hispanics to have a profile - 31% of online White adults compared with 43% of African-Americans and 48% of Hispanics.

Visits are on the rise. In Feb. '05, 2% of adult internet users had visited an online social network “yesterday,” while 19% had done so in Dec. '08.

51% of social network users have two or more online profiles
  • 50% of adult social network users have a profile on MySpace
  • 22% have a profile on Facebook
  • 6% have a profile on LinkedIn

Primary use is to connect with people they already know
  • 89% use their online profiles to keep up with friends
  • 57% use their profile to make plans with friends
  • 49% use them to make new friends

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