Tag Archives: Social networks

Major Sites Visited in Last 30 Days Other Than Facebook

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Facebook Users Hop, Skip, or Jump? [TUPdate]

The share of online Americans using any of Facebook’s sites has dropped in the last year. The % of online adults using Facebook, Instagram,or WhatsApp, as well as any of these three, is lower than one year prior. This is based on the 2018 wave of Technology User Profile (TUP), a survey of technology users now in its 36th year.

Three in four online adults (76%) report having used Facebook in the prior 30 days, down from 84% in the prior year.

When Facebook acquired Instagram, it looked like a solid move to give site-hopping users an alternate venue to connect and share, whilestill staying within the Facebook family. However, as the advertisements rampedup and other sites attracted interest, users became less active or left.Between 2015 and 2017, Instagram’s expansion appeared to be on track to reachat least half of online adults before 2020. However, use has shrunk from a peak42% level in 2017 to the present 38%.

We looked at the overlap of users of any of the three sites – Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp – and that share has also decreased, although not as strongly. In 2017, the share of adult Americans using any of the three was 87%, and now in 2018 that share has dropped to 82%.

Looking ahead

Fickle consumers continue to express how they choose to spend their time online and offline. Although Facebook has taken many steps to weave their way into everyday experiences, users continue to explore alternatives. I’m reminded of the rises and falls we’ve seen in sites from Google+, MySpace, AOL to CompuServe and Prodigy, as network effects or following the herd entices large groups of users to move on from the market leaders.While I’m not calling this dip the beginning of another end, it is a cautionary note that Facebook has additional work ahead of them. Also, user defection isn’t the only issue facing Facebook. Advertisers and organizations reliant on Facebook can speed up any downdraft as they review any shifts in their own key numbers and consider other options.

Related results

TUP clients can drill down further into these results to explore related results such as: which types of devices users use to access social networks, demographic profiles of users by social network, and details for the UK, Germany, China, and India.


The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This recent wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. For this TUPdate we focused on users in the US.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.


This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Social Networking, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Google+ … Reversing the Polarity? (TUPdate)

This week, Google announced they’ll be pulling the plug on the consumer-facing Google+, although after unreported widening abandonment. Google’s social network rocket never quite left orbit and was already on its way down. Although the decision was partly portrayed as protecting user’s privacy, recently a substantial number of Google+ users had already abandoned the platform.

In the last year, a substantial number of Google+ users stopped returning. This is based on the results of our independent survey, TUP (Technology User Profile), conducted continuously since 1983. From mid-2014 through mid-2017, Google+ had continued its steady, but stagnant, usage patterns. During that time, the number of active US adult users hovered between 41.7 and 48.6 million. Even before Google announced the closure of Google+, we found in our most recent wave of TUP, fielded mid-year 2018, that the number of Google+ users had dropped nearly in half, to 25.2 million users.

The final Google+ hangers-on form a unique profile, especially for the sites they frequent. They are three times more likely than the average online adult to be active on MySpace, and twice as likely to be using Viber, Reddit, Imgur, or Tumblr.

Demographically, usage levels plummeted simultaneously for all age and gender groups. At one peak point in 2015, 43% of online males age 25 to 34 were using Google+. By 2018, that plummeted to 14%.

Remaining users are not from any particular gender or age group, as all have penetration rates in the teens.

Looking ahead

Even though Google’s announcement hinted they may refocus Google+ on enterprise users, these are also few in number. In fact, a higher-than-average share of remaining Google+ users are unemployed or employed part-time.

Google’s sunsetting may discourage the remaining loyalists, affecting use of other Google products and services. For example, Google+ users are twice as likely as any other online American to be using Google Nexus Player, and Google Chromecast. And, in China and India, Google+ adult users have an above average share of using Google TV and Google Nexus Player. Furthermore, in India, Google+ users actively use an average of 1.64 Google devices, including Smartphones and Tablets.

If the transition is managed well, Google’s attempt to reverse the polarity of a negative to a positive may avoid inadvertently changing Google+ to Google minus.


This post includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile survey, from TUP 2018, its 36th consecutive wave, as well as previous waves. Comparable results are available through TUP fielded in Europe and Asia. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.


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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Social Networking, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Online dating – a flat niche – has tech-savvy daters who like to watch – reported in MetaFacts TUP survey

Ratio of Male to Female Online Daters – MetaFacts

Online dating – a flat niche – has tech-savvy daters who like to watch – reported in MetaFacts TUP survey

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, MetaFacts Principal Analyst

Online dating has evolved for decades, having settled into a comfortable niche now spanning all ages and strata. In active use by only a fraction of unattached adults, these services continue to face challenges beyond their direct competitors. Alternatives to connect with others include social networking sites such as Facebook, in addition to more traditional in-person approaches such as clubs and churches. The likeliest near-term innovation will come from the increased use of technology, and not from broad sociological or cultural changes in online dating patterns.

As part of Technology User Profile, we asked respondents whether they are using an online dating service. One in eight (12%) of unattached online adults said they were actively dating online, numbering 9.9 million Americans. This finding is from a carefully balanced sample of 8,175 adults in the second phase of the Technology User Profile survey.

The trend is neither growth nor stagnation in the use of online dating. The current 12% rate is essentially identical to one year prior, where MetaFacts determined that 13% of unattached adults are dating online. This is based on 8,160 respondents.

The MetaFacts measure of active online daters is a smaller number than the estimates reported by many online dating sites and in publicly available industry analyst reports. There are several reasons for this difference. MetaFacts gathered this information from independent bottom-up surveys, not through top-down company guidance. This independent approach gives a uniquely solid view which is not subject to differing definitions of who is and isn’t an active online dater. Also, each adult is counted only once as an online dater, so are not counted for each of the multiple sites they may use. Furthermore, the survey questions about the use of online dating, marital status are included along with vary many other questions about the use of technology. This helps mediate the social effects for answering questions about topics such as online dating.

MetaFacts also found that online dating spans all ages. Unattached adults age 25-44 have the highest incidence of online dating, with one out of six (16%) using the sites. Among the age 45-54 group, one out of seven (14%) date online, and one out of ten (10%) age 55-64. The youngest and oldest age groups have the lowest use. At a 5% incidence, anyone age 65+ will only encounter one out of twenty similarly aged unattached adults.

We also looked into gender disparity, finding more men than women using online dating sites. There are almost twice as many men than women using online dating sites. Males make up 65% of single, separated, divorced, or widowed adults using an online dating site. This is somewhat larger than the 58% share of unattached online adult who are male.

Drilling more deeply into the Technology User Profile datasets, we looked at the gender balance within age groups. To the extent that dating takes place with similarly-aged men and women, a question arises: is there a wider disparity between men and women within certain age groups? [chart]

Unattached Males age 45-54 outnumber similarly aged women by three to one, the widest gap between all same-age groups. In the age 35-34 and age 65+ groups, the ratio of men to women is closer to parity.

We looked at the next decade over, to see how things stand between online daters who are in the age group ten years older or younger than themselves. Among older males paired with younger females, there is less of a disparity between the numbers online. For example, for each Female 25-34, there are 1.5 Males 35-44. For Females 45-54, there is actually a dearth of Males 65+, with the ratio below one to one.

When comparing the ratio of older females to younger males, we found a different story. In most cases, there are many younger males for each older female. For each Female 45-54, there are four or more Males 35-44. Similarly, for each Female 55-64, there are 4.1 Males 45-54.

Note that this research is reporting the age of current active online daters, and is not reporting that online daters are dating others who are ten years older or younger. Most online dating sites offer the capability for daters specify the age of the persons they are seeking. Some sites, such as cougarlife.com, specifically target women who choose to date younger men. Also, this specific analysis does not focus on same-sex dating. It is primarily focused on the big picture of active online daters and who they are.

Singles are significantly more drawn to online dating than those who have been in prior relationships. Unattached adults using an online dating site are mostly made up of Singles (64%) with the rest (36%) being Divorced, Separated, or Widowed. This is similar to the profile unattached adults who are not dating online, 68% of whom are Singles.

Compared to many other developed countries, Americans have median dating rates, based on the 2009 wave of Technology User Profile. Use of online dating sites is highest among German unattached online adults, at nearly one in five (19%). In France and the UK, the rate is closer to one in six, at 16% and 15%, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, online dating sites are used far less often in Italy and South Korea, being used by 6% and 7%, respectively, of unattached adults in those countries.

While cultural norms vary widely from country to country, the key takeaway from these measures is that online dating is not only an American phenomenon.

Another 3.9 million attached online adults also report they are using an online dating service, which is 4% of adults who are married or part of an unmarried couple. This confirms the many anecdotal experiences shared by online daters who have discovered that the person they met online is already involved in an attached relationship. There are also online dating sites which openly cater to facilitating outside relationships among couples, married or not. Based on MetaFacts research, the share of attached online adults using online dating sites has not changed since the prior year.

Looking ahead, innovation in online dating is likely to come from competition within the online dating industry, and less likely to result from overnight societal changes in dating behavior.

This innovation will come in the form of increased consumer use of dating-specific apps for smartphones and tablets such as the Apple iPad.

Online daters have a more tech-savvy and tech-active profile, and are already actively using social networking sites like Facebook. They also use Smartphones at a higher rate than the unattached not dating online.

Due to the sensitive nature of information shared through online dating sites, online dating apps will be subject to the already-heightened privacy concerns of online daters. A higher share of online daters than non-daters take privacy steps with their mobile phones, such as turning off location-based services (LBS), password protecting their phones, and avoiding some apps.

There’s a pent-up demand for freedom of immediate access and even expressions of rebellion among online daters. A higher share of online daters than non-daters feels they should be allowed to text or email while they are driving a car. Most states have enacted legislation to protect the public from distracted drivers, so this demand is unlikely to be met with current heads-down, thumbs-only technology.

Probably the most relevant technology behavior to watch: video calls on mobile phones. A strongly higher share of online daters are already using the new capability of advanced carrier networks and smartphones to make video calls, using products such as FaceTime on Apple iPhones.

MetaFacts expect the broadening of online dating device platforms to encourage churning between sites and the extension of renewals, and not to quickly encourage unattached non-daters to join in online.


MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition – report available immediately by contacting MetaFacts. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically. This edition is for the U.S. based on the 2010 wave of Technology User Profile gathered among a scrupulously selected set of representative respondents, surveyed both online and offline.To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other Internet-oriented questions TUP covers on www.technologyuser.com.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry trends and facts. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.


Filed under Consumer research, Technology User Overview Report, TUP 2010, TUPdate

How Apple computers are used distinctly from Windows PCs

Apple Home PC users are simply more active than Windows Home PC users. They use their computers for a wider range of activities – 21.1 – than Windows Home PC users – at 17.5 activities.

Also, Apple Home PCs are used differently than Windows Home PCs. Apples are more often used for graphics & imaging, personal, and communication activities, with more than 25% more activities in each category. Apple users simply find a wider range of uses for their computers than Windows users.

Number of Activities by Type - Apple Profile Report 2008

Number of Activities by Type – Apple Profile Report 2008

When it comes to the everyday activities for a Home PC, there is little difference between Apple and Windows PCs. The top 10 activities on Apples are the same as the top 10 for Windows PCs, although the order is slightly different.

Among the top 20 activities for Apple Home PCs, only three are unique to Apple – not in the top 20 for Windows Home PCs:

  •  #14 – Download music or MP3s
  •  #16 – Use a community/social networking group (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Ryze)
  •  #17 – Read online publications (e.g. ezines, blogs)

There are 11 activities which stand out as uniquely Apple, reaching a much higher proportion of its base. Some of these activities are not widespread, so might be leading-edge if they gain popularity among Windows users, or may simply reflect Apple’s unique users.

For example, creating web pages is a function of Apple’s software as well as its audience. One-fourth (25%) of Apple Home PCs are used to create web pages, compared with one in nine (11%) Windows Home PCs. Apple simply makes it easy and smooth to create well-accepted web sites, both with bundled software such as iLife, as well as commercially available software and a tightly supportive ecosystem. Also, Apple users are more often in the creative class, with occupations and interests that are more outer-directed and proactive than typical Windows users.

Uniquely Strong Activities for Apple Home PCs - Apple Profile Report 2008

Uniquely Strong Activities for Apple Home PCs – Apple Profile Report 2008

There is not a large difference in the number of hours that Apple users use their Home PCs than Windows Home PCs. On average, Apple Home PCs are used 18.1 hours per week, slightly less than the 18.5 hour average for Windows Home PCs. Even for the 3rd Home PC, the usage pattern is similar: with Apples being used 10.9 hours per week compared with Windows Home PCs at 9.9 hours per week.

Apple Home PC households have a slightly less utilitarian outlook than non-Apple households. Two-thirds (67%) of Apple households say they find their computer more useful than a year ago. A slightly higher share – 71% – of non-Apple households says the same.


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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008