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Surprising Statistics About Twitter in Post-Trump America [2021 Research]

Posted Under: Social Media
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Twitter Statistics (2021)

One of the original social networks, we’ve found that Twitter is often the most misunderstood.

Recent studies from Edison Research paint a fascinating picture of Twitter and its role in America’s social media ecosystem. We’re used to getting schooled by the annual Infinite Dial report (see our recap post: 2021 Social Media Usage Statistics), and Edison took that to a new level with a special look at Twitter Before and After Trump to identify just how influential Twitter has been on the collective American psyche.

Here are shocking statistics about post-Trump Twitter that I didn’t anticipate.

More People Are Using Twitter

Twitter users returned to the platform immediately after Trump. A little background: On January 8, 2021, Twitter banned then-President Donald Trump from the platform. After the ban, daily Twitter usage increased five points, to 29% post-ban by social media users aged 18+.

Twitter usage before and after trump - bar chart
After Twitter banned Trump, daily Twitter usage increased five points, to 29% post-ban by social media users aged 18+

While the politically liberal users increased 24%, there was also an increase among politically conservative social media users, from 18% to 21% post-ban.

liberal & conservative twitter usage statistics - bar chart

Americans Agree That Social Media Spreads Disinformation

Americans on both sides of the political spectrum are skeptical of social media sites and the false information that can spread on the platforms. Twitter over indexes as untrustworthy by political conservatives, though 42% of politically liberal social media users do not trust the news and information seen on Twitter.

Bar chart on news trustworthiness on Twitter

The majority of liberals and conservatives agree that social media spreads disinformation and conspiracies. Who’s to blame? Well, nearly 70% of both sides of the aisle agree that social media companies should be held accountable for the type of content they promote.

research on views on disinformation on social media
Liberals and conservatives agree: there is too much disinformation being shared on social.

Twitter Sucks at Converting Awareness to Usage

Even though Twitter is known by 88% of Americans, just 23% of Americans ages 12 and older use Twitter. Thus, about one in four Americans who know about Twitter actually use Twitter.

Twitter awareness in 2021
88% of Americans are aware of Twitter.

Compare that ratio to Facebook, where 93% have heard of it, and 61% have a profile. Even so, Twitter usage is up from 19% of Americans just two years ago. Twitter usage in 2021 matches TikTok usage in 2021, and boasts more American social media users than LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Parler.

The Kids Think Twitter is Alright

Young Americans, ages 12 to 34 years old, are the most prevalent of Twitter users. Over a third of American social media users are on Twitter, up from 29% in the last two years. Compare that to only 10% of senior Americans over 55 years old, who spend the majority of their social media time on Facebook.

For the young ones, Twitter is down the list of social media sites used most often, trailing Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Moms Tweet, Too

Moms made a big shift to Twitter in 2021. In fact, Edison’s Moms and Media Report identified a 50% increase from 2020 among Moms who identified as ever using Twitter.

For social platforms, Twitter barely edges out TikTok among Moms, though Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram capture Mom’s attention the most on social media. Now that moms spend over 4 hours per day using the Internet, there’s time enough to go around!

What’s most surprising to you about Twitter in America?

This post was originally written by Jay Baer in 2010 and updated with new research by Lauren Teague in 2021.

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