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Social networking corrals 72 percent of U.S. adults

Total usage among U.S. adults is up to 72 percent in May 2013 from 67 percent in December 2012, with more older people signing up.

Social networks are continuing to attract new members in the U.S., especially among older users, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Monday. After a drop across most age groups in December 2012, usage was up between 5 percent and 10 percent in May 2013. Total usage among U.S. adults rose to 72 percent in May 2013 from 67 percent in December 2012.

Pew Research Center

The survey results were based on data from telephone interviews of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older, conducted from April 17 to May 19, 2013.

In a February 2013 survey, Pew found that 67 percent of social networkers are Facebook users. But a large percentage of those like to take a break from the service, with 61 percent of respondents having at one time abandoned it for a period of several weeks or more. The main reasons cited for taking a Facebook hiatus were being too busy or lack of interest.

The recent Pew Research Center study also found that Twitter usage among U.S. adult users grew to 18 percent in May 2013 from 8 percent in November 2010. Less than 20 percent of Twitter users are 50 and older, the survey found.

Pew Research Center

Twitter announced that it had more than 200 million monthly active users in December 2012, up from 100 million in September 2011.