This week in social media news, a new Pew Research Center survey highlights key social media use trends, Google launches video experiments globally for YouTube advertisers and Reddit is reportedly exploring a voice chat feature.
Pew Research: YouTube Is The Most Used Social Platform Among US Adults
The most-used social media platform by US adults is YouTube (81 percent), followed by Facebook (69 percent), according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted from January 25 to February 8 among 1,502 Americans. Among the platforms Pew measured, the only platform other than YouTube that experienced significant growth since 2019—up from 73 percent—is Reddit, which grew from 11 percent in 2019 to 18 percent today.
Why it matters: Facebook is still one of the most used social media platforms with 69 percent of respondents saying they use it, but Pew’s data show that its growth has leveled off over the last five years. In addition, the respective number of Americans who report using Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and WhatsApp is statistically unchanged since 2019.
The details: As for other platforms in Pew’s survey, 40 percent of adults say they use Instagram and 30 percent use Pinterest or LinkedIn. Twenty-five percent say they use Snapchat and a similar amount report using Twitter or WhatsApp. TikTok, despite its explosive growth in the past year, is used by 21 percent of Americans. Another 13 percent say they use the Nextdoor app.
Adults under 30 stand out for their use of TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, while a vast majority of those 30 to 64 use YouTube. The latter share drops to 49 percent among Americans aged 65 and older.
Comparatively, age gaps between the youngest and oldest demographic narrow for Facebook, with 70 percent of those ages 18 to 29 saying they use the platform and 73 percent of ages 50 to 64 saying they use it.
Other apps that stand out for their demographic differences include Pinterest, where women continue to be far more likely to use it than men—46 percent versus 16 percent. In addition, Hispanic Americans (46 percent) are more likely to say they use WhatsApp than black (23 percent) or white Americans (16 percent).
Google Ads Launches YouTube Video Experiments Globally
To help advertisers find their creative sweet spot on YouTube, Google is launching video experiments worldwide in Google Ads. The company says that in global studies it conducted in 2019 and 2020, advertisers who successfully used video experiments to optimize for lower-funnel performance on YouTube saw a 30 percent lower media cost per acquisition from the higher-performing creative.
Why it matters: When sporting goods retailer Decathlon set out to test video creatives versus single standard creative for key audience segments using Google’s video experiments, it saw 175 percent more incremental online conversations at a 64 percent lower cost per conversion and greater return on ad spend by 51 percent.
The details: The Google Ads video experiments will enable brands to analyze the impact of different video ads on brand lift, conversions or CPAs by letting you show two distinctly different video ads to the same audience, with different visual language elements such as brightness, text and framing. To start, Google suggests testing supersize text and logo, tighter framing and placing a call to action at the beginning of the video.
Reddit Is Reportedly Building A Clubhouse-Like Voice Chat Feature
Reddit is exploring a new feature that would let people moderate voice chats, a source familiar with the company’s plan told Mashable.
Why it matters: Reddit hasn’t confirmed the feature, but it would come as no surprise if it were tapping into the popularity and rollout of new audio-only features and apps, including Clubhouse, Twitter’s Spaces, Facebook’s Rooms and Discord’s new ‘Stage Channels.’
The details: Mashable reports that voice chats on Reddit could be part of the company’s ‘Powerup’ program. Announced last year, the program involves the launch of additional features for subreddits whose members buy a minimum number of Power subscriptions, which costs $4.99 a month.