Pew: Pinterest and Instagram used by 12 percent of adults, closing gap with Twitter

In its latest study on Internet life, the Pew Foundation released some interesting findings that confirm that image and picture sharing have become a big part of our online lives. The report is called: “Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online.”

The big finding is that posting and sharing photos is now something almost half of all adult Internet users do:

  • “46% of adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
  • 41% of adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call themcurators.”

Pew says a big factor in this is the rise of smartphones. No surprise there. And at the moment the three most popular social networking sites are the ones you’d expect:

  • 66% of online adults use Facebook
  • 20% use LinkedIn
  • 16% use Twitter

But for the first time, the survey also asked adults about three other services: tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest. And guess what? The latter two seem to be closing in on Twitter:

  • “12% of online adults say they use Pinterest, which is dominated by women. Nearly a fifth of online women (19%) use Pinterest.”
  • “12% of online adults say they use Instagram, which is dominated by young adults. Some 27% of the internet users between ages 18-29 use Instagram.”
  • “5% of online adults say they use Tumblr. Some 11% of young adults use this social blogging service.”

Facebook, of course, now owns Instagram. And there are plenty of folks who have suggested that Facebook’s next move should be to buy Pinterest.

In each case, these services seem to have rapidly closed the gap with Twitter. And that may be why we’ve seen Twitter adjust its platform to be more focused on sharing and consuming media over the past year.

(photo by Karly Domb Sadof of the Associated Press)