Inmar Intelligence Survey Reveals New Data On Social Media Usage, Current Channel Preferences, and Predictions for Next Favorite Platforms

Inmar Intelligence | October 27, 2021

Inmar Intelligence, a leading applied data platform company, today announced findings from a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults that aimed to identify the most popular social media platforms for browsing and shopping, and to determine if those platforms will remain favorites in the next year or if new ones will replace user’s attention.

Social media platforms and their content have changed over the past few years with the introduction of short-form videos from TikTok, to adaptations from Youtube and Instagram, to influencer programs skyrocketing in success and users continuing to search for more ways to connect with their friends/family while apart. 

Inmar Intelligence’s survey examined the popularity of the platforms, how much time users spend on them on average, which they’ve used more frequently this year and which they plan to increase/decrease their time on next year. Additionally, it explores where they shop on social media and reasons why they use the following platforms.  

The survey found that 85 percent of respondents still use and browse on Facebook, nearly 65 on Instagram, 68 percent on Youtube and 45 percent are on Twitter. In terms of how that could change next year, respondents said that they expect to use Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok more next year and Facebook and Pinterest among those they expect to use less. Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • 4 to 6 hours on average. Coupling all the social media platforms together, the majority of respondents shared that they generally spend about 4 to 6 hours a week on social media platforms. Additionally, 18 percent said they spend more than 13 hours, another 18 percent said 10 to 12.
  • Facebook, Instagram and Twitter remain on top. Out of all the social media platforms, 85 percent of respondents shared that they have a Facebook account, Instagram (65 percent), Twitter (45 percent), Snapchat (39 percent), and 42 percent with an account on TikTok.
  • 2020 platforms. When asked which social media platforms respondents have used most in the past year, nearly 70 percent said Facebook, 40 percent said Youtube, 41 percent said Instagram, and 24 percent said TikTok and Twitter.
  • Going out of style. Out of the ones respondents said they use less frequently, the majority voted Pinterest (26 percent), with Linkedin (25 percent) and Twitter (23 percent) close behind. Specifically, respondents aged 16-24 said that they’d be using Facebook and Twitter less next year, as other platforms have grown in popularity. 
  • Where to watch short-form? Since the launch of more short-form videos on social media, respondents shared that they do regularly watch it and nearly 50 percent said they do so on TikTok, 25 percent said Youtube Shorts, and 20 percent said Instagram Reels. 
  • Shopping on social. For social media commerce, 72 percent of respondents said they have been inspired to purchase a product or service because of a post on social media. 67 percent said that happened on Facebook, 46 percent said Instagram, 34 percent said Youtube, and 25 percent said TikTok. Additionally, 49 percent of respondents said that they’ve bought directly through a social media platform.
  • Where and for what? When asked what their go-to platform is for certain activities, respondents chose the following:
    • Facebook for current events and news, connecting with family and friends, and entertainment  
    • Instagram for connecting with people with similar interests/hobbies, connecting with friends and family, and entertainment
    • Twitter primarily for current events and news
    • TikTok for entertainment and product recommendations 
    • Youtube for product recommendations, product reviews, how-to content, and entertainment 
    • Pinterest for recipe and decor inspiration 

“We as consumers want it all, and we’ll use multiple platforms to get it. We know that we want to be informed and entertained, while staying connected,” says Aaron Kechley, Media and Data General Manager at Inmar Intelligence. “What’s unique about social media applications is that users know they do need more than 1 account, and they’re okay with that. Maybe one day there will be one that can do it all, but for now, multiple are needed and this survey shows us that.”
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