A special analysis of 27 national surveys of Americans across the past decade documents this substantial spread of technology throughout the population, although the overall number of users of social networking sites has leveled off since 2013.1 At the same time, there continues to be growth in social media usage among some groups that were not among the earliest adopters, including older Americans.
The figures reported here are for social media usage among all adults, not just among those Americans who are internet users. In many previous Pew Research reports, the share of social media users has been reported as the proportion of internet users who had adopted such sites, rather than the full adult population, which continues to include a relatively small share (currently 15%) who still remain offline. In this report, a broader picture of the American landscape is presented, and so the figures are based on the entire adult population.
What follows is an overview of changes over time in social media by various demographic groups. A full archive of Pew Research Center reports on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn as well as about social media usage on mobile devices in general can be found at: -networking/.
Age is strongly correlated with social media usage: Those ages 18 to 29 have always been the most likely users of social media by a considerable margin. Today, 90% of young adults use social media, compared with 12% in 2005, a 78-percentage point increase. At the same time, there has been a 69-point bump among those ages 30-49, from 8% in 2005 to 77% today.
While usage among young adults started to leveled off as early as 2010, since then there has been a surge in usership among those 65 and older. In 2005, 2% of seniors used social media, compared with 35% today.
Starting in 2009, women started using social media at slightly higher rates than men, although this balance has shrunk yet again in recent years. Today, 68% of women and 62% of men report social media usage, a difference that is not statistically significant.
Those who have attended at least some college are more likely than those with a high school diploma or less to use social media, a trend that has been consistent since 2005. In that year, 4% of those with a high school diploma or less used social media, along with 8% of those who attended some college and 12% of college graduates.
There were modest differences by household income when Pew Research first began measuring social media usage in 2005: 4% of those living in households earning less than $30,000 used social media, compared with 12% of those living in household earning $75,000 or more.
When it comes to race and ethnicity, trends in social media adoption are defined by similarities, not differences. Whites, African-Americans and Hispanics have broadly adopted social media at the same brisk pace.
Adults who live in rural communities have historically been the least likely to use social media. In 2005, 5% of rural residents, 7% of suburban residents and 9% of urban residents reported social media usage. Today, 58% of rural residents, 68% of suburban residents and 64% of urban residents use social media.
In recent years, social commerce evolved into an emerging phenomenon of global interest for marketers, businesses, and researchers alike. In light of this development, it is not surprising that the number of publications focusing on this phenomenon at the interplay of electronic commerce and social media has been rising substantially. The goal of this paper is to provide a structured overview of social commerce research by means of a structured literature review. Based on our literature search between 2007 and 2014 resulting in 116 published papers, we carve out and assess the knowledge and the research areas that have been predominantly addressed by the Information Systems, Electronic Commerce, and Marketing research community so far. By providing a research agenda, we hope that our results will stimulate and guide future research in this exciting field.
In any case, we can reason that social commerce is strongly connected to or based on social media and electronic commerce. Thereby, electronic commerce technologies focus mainly on the efficiency of transactional processes in terms of facilitating purchasing processes and information search, while social media enhances the shopping experience through the possibility of community interaction with other users.
The largest number of articles can be attributed to outlets in the field of IS with 51 publications, thereof 29 articles in conference proceedings and 22 articles in journals, while 50 articles were published in electronic commerce journals and 15 articles in marketing journals. In the field of IS, the journals containing most of the articles are Information Systems Research (5 articles), the Journal of the Association for Information Systems (4 articles), and the Journal of Management Information Systems (4 articles). The majority of articles on social commerce related topics in the field of IS can be found in the proceedings of the International Conference of Information Systems (23 articles). The most receptive journals for social commerce research in the field of electronic commerce are the International Journal of E-Commerce (17 articles), the Journal of E-Commerce Research (14 articles), and Electronic Commerce Research (13 articles). Regarding the area of marketing, one of the selected leading marketing journals, namely the Journal of Marketing Research (5 articles), is among the overall top five outlets, followed by the Journal of Marketing (2 articles), the Journal of Consumer Research (2 articles) as well as Marketing Science (2 articles). In sum, it can be argued that, so far, electronic commerce journals have been the most receptive outlets for social commerce research (58 % of 87 articles) (cf. Fig. 2).
The existing body of knowledge also includes numerous publications related to website design (15 %) (e.g., Arazy et al. 2010; Ganley 2011; Gottschlich et al. 2013; Li and Buchthal 2012; Macaulay et al. 2007; Mackenzie et al. 2009; Noh et al. 2013; Shi et al. 2013; Wang et al. 2007; Yue and Jiang 2013; Zhang and Liu 2013; Zhu et al. 2010). Social shopping websites (82 %), presentation sites (12 %), and virtual worlds (6 %) were the social media platform types primarily investigated.
A smaller share of articles (7 %) is related to business models in the context of social commerce (Cagnina and Poian 2009; Cheema 2008; Dhar and Ghose 2010; Greiner and Wang 2010; Lehdonvirta 2009; Oestreicher-Singer and Zalmanson 2009; Pelaez et al. 2013; Scarle et al. 2012). They address different social media platform types such as social shopping websites (3 articles), social gaming websites and virtual worlds (2 articles), as well as group buying websites (1 article), presentation sites (1 article) and social networking sites (1 article).
The last research theme refers to firm performance. In recent years, only very few articles (4 %) have dealt with this research theme (e.g., Koh and Kim 2004; Qi 2011; Kumar et al. 2013; Li and Huang 2014; Luo and Zhang 2013) although the question of what is the impact regarding firm performance increases. Social networking sites (2 articles), social gaming sites and virtual worlds (1 article), and blogs, wikis, and microblogs (2 article) were the social media platform types investigated.
Finally, as firms act under limited budgets, further research in regard to the research theme firm performance could investigate the impact, performance, and return on investment of their engagement in respective social commerce sites in more detail also with respect to different social media platform types. Li and Huang (2014) evaluated the monetary value of Twitter in light of NBA basketball players salary and Twitter followers. They conclude that Twitter has the potential to help small and medium businesses as well as start-ups in their initial stages, often with very limited marketing budgets, to increase revenue. Therefore, further research could for example analyze which social commerce applications and features are most effective in increasing sales or other relevant performance metrics. 153554b96e