Instagram is owned by Facebook, and other digital facts most Americans don’t know

The Pew Research Center finds that Americans are shaky on many tech-related matters.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson

Not everyone knows Facebook owns Instagram. 

Angela Lang/CNET

More than half of Americans can't recognize a picture of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Only 29% know that WhatsApp and Instagram are owned by Facebook .

These two data points are some of the new findings from the Pew Research Center showing that when it comes to basic digital knowledge, Americans aren't always that savvy.

The survey, conducted in June, put more than 4,000 respondents to the test. The majority could answer fewer than half of the questions correctly, according to the survey results out Wednesday. Other findings included that 49% weren't clear on what private browsing does, and only 30% knew that "https://" means that info entered on a website is encrypted.

There were a few area where survey-takers did better, though. Sixty-seven percent knew that phishing scams can take place across a variety of platforms. Sixty-three percent knew what a cookie is, and 53% understood that advertising is the largest revenue stream for many social media companies.  

Pew also found that younger folks tended to score better than older folks, and those with higher education also did better.

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