Infographic: The Social Shift

This may come as a surprise, but social media is no longer purely “social.” Researchers found that activities are increasingly centered around content, news, entertainment, and brand discovery rather than friends and family connections. Here, we learn how and why the shift is occurring.


Here, we take a look at five facts that show how consumers are changing their behavior when it comes to social media:

Red, White, and Social

The majority of Americans are on social media

73% YouTube

68% Facebook

35% Instagram

29% Pinterest

27% Snapchat

26% LinkedIn

24% Twitter

While YouTube is popular across all demographics, Gen X and Millennials are drawn to Facebook, while GenZ is more likely to use Instagram and Snapchat

Why We Social-ize

We still want to see what our friends and family are doing, but we also want to be entertained

Emerging Motivations (% Change from 2016)

Watch/follow sports 20% (+32%)

Fill spare time 39% (+21%)

Find funny/entertaining content 36% (+36%)

Declining Motivations

Share my opinion 29% (-23%)

Because my friends are there 31% (-12%)

General networking 33% (-11%)

Why We’re Sharing Less

Top three consumer concerns about social

1. Privacy

2. Taking up too much time

3. Negativity

Are We at Peak Social?

After years of successive growth, daily time on social has begun to level off. On average, here’s how much time each generation spends scrolling per day.


Gen Z 2.53

Millennials 1.59

Gen X 1.17

Boomers .50

The Future of Social Media

Although the reasons people use social may have shifted, it’s here to stay.

Consumers say they’re most comfortable using social for:

62% entertainment

52% news and current affairs

44% reading/leaving reviews on brands/products

43% researching products/ideas

43% buying/selling products

37% following brands/celebrities

31% activism/community events

Looking to reach your target audience via social? Contact us today to learn how our suite of experiential marketing services can help you engage with these consumers and build the buzz around your brand’s social media.

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