Some Social Media Stats That Even Surprised Us

Illustration by Dreamstime.

People of all ages are turning to blogs, Twitter, online videos, and Facebook. The distinctions between age and gender among users are blurring as the web becomes the go-to place for everything from uploading family pictures to learning about health and wellness.

We’re huge fans of social media, but the latest statistics even surprised us.

We couldn’t help but share these stats from Pew, Epsilon, Royal Pingdom, and Banking 2020. The latest social media statistics speak to the continued evolution of not only the social media channels, but the users.

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Social media use

  • Adults who are 74 and older quadrupled their social networking presence since 2008, making them the fastest growing demographic.
  • Older users saw a huge increase in the use of social media. In December 2008, 9 percent of users 55 to 64-years old used social networks. In May 2010, that number jumped to 43 percent.
  • The use of social networking continues to rise among younger users. In December 2008, 67 percent of users between the ages of 18 to 33 used social networking sites. In May 2010, 83 percent used it.
  • The percentage of all adult Internet users who watch video online jumped 14 points in the past two years, from 52 percent in May 2008 to 66 percent in May 2010.
  • As of May 2010, 53 percent of online adults have used a classified ads website such as Craigstlist, up from 32 percent in September 2007.
  • Some 51 percent of all online adults listen to music online, compared with 34 percent the last time Pew asked this question in June 2004.

Social media and health

  • 40 percent of online consumers turn to social media for health information.
  • 61 percent of people now use the Internet instead of visiting a doctor.

Blogs and microblogs

  • 152 million blogs on the Internet.
  • 25 billion tweets sent on Twitter in 2010.
  • 100 million new accounts added on Twitter in 2010.
  • 200 million people on Twitter as of January 2011.


  • 600 million people on Facebook at the end of 2010.
  • 250 million new people on Facebook in 2010.
  • 30 billion pieces of content (links, notes, photos, etc.) shared on Facebook per month.
  • 70 percent share of Facebook’s user base located outside the United States.
  • 20 million Facebook apps installed each day.

Videos and images

  • 2 billion videos watched per day on YouTube.
  • 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • The average Internet user watches 186 online videos in a month.
  • 5 billion photos hosted by Flickr.
  • More than 3,000 Photos uploaded per minute to Flickr.

P.S. If you want to know how to use social media for your benefits communication, check out our Social Media Starter Kit, a Toolkit designed to guide you through these powerful tools.

Jennifer Benz is Chief Strategist and Founder of Benz Communications, a San Francisco-based consultancy that focuses on custom, comprehensive benefits and HR communications services. Jen is an active member of the Council for Communication Management, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Northern California Human Resources Association and Women in Consulting. Contact her at