Friday, September 18, 2015

Rural adult Internet users prefer Facebook, shy away from Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram

The majority of rural adult Internet users who participate in social media choose Facebook, while other sites, such as Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter, are not as popular, says a survey by the Pew Research Center. The survey, which consisted of 1,907 adults ages 18 and older from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., found that 67 percent of rural Internet users are on Facebook, compared to 74 percent in urban areas and 72 percent in suburban ones. When it comes to Pinterest, 31 percent of rural respondents use the service, compared to 26 percent urban and 34 percent suburban.

The big differences are in other services. Only 18 percent of rural users are on Instagram, compared to 32 percent urban and 28 percent suburban; 12 percent of rural respondents said they use Linkedin, compared to 30 percent urban and 26 percent suburban; and only 15 percent of rural users are on Twitter, compared to 30 percent urban and 21 percent suburban. Rural individuals are also less likely to join Tumblr, participate in online discussion forums and use mobile messaging apps.

One problem is the lack of specific details in the survey, Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. "We can’t see how different segments of rural are behaving, but we can see rural users as a whole, though the margin of error, at 9.1 percentage points, is a bit on the high side for drawing too many conclusions . . . Here’s another thing to keep in mind: The results in the Pew Center survey are based on the percentage of adults who are online, not the overall population." Researchers reported that 85 percent of adults are on the Internet and 67 percent are smartphone users but did not break those numbers down by specific areas.

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