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Half Of U.S. Adults Now Use Social Networks: Pew (STATS)

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SAN FRANCISCO — Half of all American adults are now on social networks, slightly more than a year ago, and use among Baby Boomers is growing, according to a new study.

A report released Friday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that, of the U.S. adults who use the Internet, nearly two-thirds use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

Among Baby Boomers aged 50 to 64, 32 percent said they use a social networking site on a typical day. That's up sharply from 20 percent a year ago.

Seniors also are testing the waters of social networking, said Mary Madden, co-author of the report.

"The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools," she said.

Online social networks are most popular with young adults and women, and the "power users" of the social Web are women aged 18 to 29, the report found. Of this group, 89 percent use social networks and 69 percent do so on an average day.

The report found "no significant differences" in use of social networks based on race, ethnicity, household income, education level or whether people live in urban, rural or suburban areas.

Pew also asked respondents to describe their social networking experience in one word. The most common word, by far, was "good."

The survey was conducted April 26 to May 22 among 2,277 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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Online: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-Networking-Sites.aspx

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