Pew: Half of U.S. Adults Now Use Social Networking Websites

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August 27, 2011; Source: The Fundraising Resource | The most recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that for the first time ever, half of all U.S. adults now use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. That’s up from 5 percent in 2005.

Interestingly, Pew found that “there are no significant differences in use of social networking sites based on race and ethnicity, household income, education level, or whether the Internet user lives in an urban, suburban, or rural environment.”

Social networking is still largely the domain of people under the age of 50, but Pew reports accelerating growth in social networking among Baby Boomers who are now entering their retirement years—a key target demographic for nonprofit fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Today nearly one-third of Internet users aged 50 to 64 use social networking sites. Are there any nonprofits out there who have yet to embrace an online social networking strategy as part of their fundraising and outreach efforts?—Chris Hartman