By Jessica Walrack - March 11th, 2015

Social media is evolving, and each generation is now engaging with it differently.

Facebook is changing from a hip, young digital stomping ground to a place to for your parents to comment on old photos.Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat permeate more of our lives—and the younger you are, the more they do. Social media is evolving, and each generation is now engaging with it differently. 
A recent study by the Pew Research Center recorded the behaviors of different age groups across social media for 2013 and 2014. Let’s dive into these trends across the main platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. 

Ages 18 - 29

Social media usage in this age bracket is most prominent. They come in first place for highest usage rate on 4 of the 5 main platforms, with LinkedIn being the only exception. On Facebook, 87% of this age group is present, which grew by a modest 3% from 2013. When it comes time to tweet and #hashtageverything, 37% are present on Twitter, which increased by 6% from 2013. Instagram trends are interesting as usage increased significantly over the past year and is especially popular with this group who has a 53% usage rate from 37% in 2013. Pinterest comes in at 34% of the group on the platform, which increased by 7%. Lastly, LinkedIn usage was at 23%, increasing by 8%.
Usage is increasing across the board for this group, but Instagram is by far experiencing the most growth. Facebook is most widely used, but not growing much anymore, and Twitter and Pinterest growth is somewhere in the middle of the two. LinkedIn popularity grew at a notable rate, suggesting business networking is also becoming of importance to this group. 

Ages 30 - 49

This age group also uses social media at high rates as well, coming in second behind the 18-29 age groups in all areas except LinkedIn. They are the leader on LinkedIn at 31%, up 4% from 2013. When it comes to Facebook, this group is actually dropping off the platform, as their rate dropped 6% from 2013 to 2014 landing at 73% usage. Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all grew modestly ending with 25% on Twitter, 25% on Instagram and 28% on Pinterest.  
This group is losing interest in Facebook, and becoming more engaged with other platforms. The most notable is LinkedIn, where they connect for business purposes. 

Ages 50 - 64

The age group of 50 to 64 year olds are coming around to social media and technology, with some platforms reflecting this more quickly than others. For example, they only make up 12% of Twitter users, and 12% of Instagram users however, 63% are active on Facebook. This explains why your grandma might be liking all your photos. Additionally, this group holds their own on LinkedIn at 30% usage, showing they are interested in business connections. It is interesting also that this age group is showing a large interest in Pinterest, with an 11% growth rate year over year landing at 27% usage. 

Ages 65+

Similar to the other age groups, those 65 and older are participating most often on Facebook with a 56% usage rate. What is different is they had the largest increase in Facebook usage at 11%. While the lower aged groups have slowed or dropped off Facebook, this group is growing in usage. 
When it comes to Twitter, a mere 10% of this group is tweeting, but has grown 5% since 2013. Instagram is at 6%, up from 1% the year before. Pinterest on the other hand had a notable 8% lift from 2013 to 2014, resulting in 17% using the platform. Lastly, LinkedIn showed a substantial lift in this group’s usage from 13% to 21% showing they are also interested in business. 
In summary, social media is for all ages now. Facebook still has the most users, but is trending towards the older crowds, while Instagram has experienced notable growth by all groups. In addition, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are growing modestly and across all age groups. While usage is most heavy as age decreases, the oldest groups are on the track to catch up with the biggest increases in usage year over year. Following this pattern, we can expect the rising ‘Generation Z’ to live lives even more saturated by social. 
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