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Pew report: About 13% of adults online in the U.S. use Twitter

June 1, 2011 | 10:27 am


About 13% of online adults in the U.S. also use Twitter, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

That's up from 8% about six months ago -- a testament to the 5-year-old social networking site's growing popularity.

More than half, 54%, of the adults who use Twitter send their tweets using a cellphone, Pew said in the update to its ongoing Internet and American Life Project study.

And, just as the Pew center found last year, Twitter is particularly popular with minorities.

"In November 2010, there was an 8 percentage point difference in Twitter use between African American and white internet users (13% for blacks vs. 5% for whites)," Pew said in its report. "By May 2011, that gap was 16 percentage points -- 25% of online African Americans now use Twitter, compared with 9% of such whites."

Latinos, along with non-Latino African Americans, also are significantly more likely than whites to be Twitter users, the report said.

"One in ten African American internet users now visit Twitter on a typical day -- that is double the rate for Latinos and nearly four times the rate for whites," Pew said.

Twitter usage is also spreading quickly among older adults, between the ages of 25 and 44, over the last six months. From the Pew Center:

Although young adults continue to have relatively high rates of Twitter usage, the number of 30-49 year olds who use the service has doubled since late 2010 -- from 7% of such users in November to 14% in May 2011.

This growth trend is especially pronounced among 25-34 year olds -- Twitter use for this cohort roughly doubled between November 2010 and May 2011, from 9% to 19% -- although growth in Twitter use among internet users ages 35-44 was notable as well (from 8% in late 2010 to 14% in spring 2011).

Contrasting the notable growth for adults between 25 and 44, was a stable adoption rate (from 16% to 18%) of Twitter among younger adults, between 18 and 24, who were the most likely to use Twitter in the Pew center's first survey.


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Photo: A close-up view of Twitter's homepage. Credit: Oli Scarff / Getty Images