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US ‘plateaued’ in internet, social media and device ownership


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US research organisation the Pew Research Center is on a run of interesting reports this autumn, with its latest focusing on internet and social media usage, as well as device ownership in the US. The headline: all three metrics have “plateaued”.

“The shares of U.S. adults who say they use the internet, use social media, own a smartphone or own a tablet computer are all nearly identical to the shares who said so in 2016,” explained Pew. “The share who say they have broadband internet service at home currently stands at 65% – nearly identical to the 67% who said this in a survey conducted in summer 2015. And when it comes to desktop or laptop ownership, there has actually been a small dip in the overall numbers over the last two years – from 78% in 2016 to 73% today.”

The report goes on to explain this trend: near-saturation in some demographics around internet, social media and device ownership. “For example, nine-in-ten or more adults younger than 50 say they go online or own a smartphone. And a similar share of those in higher-income households have laptops or desktops,” suggested Pew.

Stuart Dredge

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