20% of U.S. Adults Use Twitter, Says Pew

Forty-seven percent of adult U.S. Internet users use online social networks, and 19 percent now use Twitter or other status update services, according to research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

The research also found that users with a wireless Internet connection, via devices such as mobile phones and laptops, were three times more likely to make use of Twitter, or similar services, than those without. Additionally, the likelihood of an individual using such sites is directly related to the number of Internet-connected devices an individual owns. For example, ten percent of users with one connected device are currently using Twitter, compared with 39 percent of users with four or more Internet-enabled devices.

Pew asked users firstly if they use “social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn.com,” and secondly if they use “Twitter or another service” to share updates about themselves or others. According to Pew Associate Director Susannah Fox, the intention of the survey “is to capture activities, not brands,” hence the inclusion of “other services” alongside Twitter in the phrasing of the questions.

The survey also highlighted the fact that use of Twitter and similar services is more popular among younger users, with 37 percent of 18-24 year olds and 31 percent of 25-34 year olds claiming to use it. This compares with 19 percent of 35-44 year olds, and 10 percent of 45-64 year olds.

The survey was conducted during August and September with 2,253 respondents.

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