Thursday, February 18, 2021

Twitter Users Increasingly Younger, More Politically Liberal

Twitter saw increases in usage immediately following the platform’s ban of then-President Trump on January 8, particularly among younger people and those who identify as more politically liberal, according to new data from The Social Habit from Edison Research.

On January 8, 2021, the social media giant Twitter banned President Trump from the platform. Ongoing measurement from Edison Research’s The Social Habit study reveals that prior to the ban, 43% of U.S. social media users age 18+ said they use Twitter. After the ban, 52% say they use Twitter, an increase of 21%. Daily Twitter usage also increased, from 24% of social media users age 18+ pre-ban to 29% post-ban.

Twitter saw an increase in number of social media users under age 55 after the Trump ban, regardless of race or gender.

More politically liberal social media users are using Twitter following the Trump ban, from 37% using the platform daily pre-ban to 46% using the platform daily post-ban, an increase of 24%. But perhaps surprisingly, despite the elimination of the ‘Tweeter-in-chief', there was also an increase of daily Twitter usage among politically conservative social media users, from 18% pre-ban to 21% post-ban.

“Our new social media tracking survey allows us, for the first time, to see how a direct regulatory action by a social media platform affected usage by Americans. For Twitter, the ban on President Trump resulted in an increased number of users,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin.

Regarding trust, Twitter picked up a couple of points post-ban, albeit from a very low starting point. Pre-ban, 5% of social media users said Twitter was the “one social media service they trust the most.” Post-ban, 7% said they trusted Twitter the most. Trust issues abound when it comes to social media: 40% of social media users said “None of these” services were trusted the most among YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat, Parler, or TikTok. The 40% of social media users reporting that “none of these” were trusted the most was unchanged post-ban.

Twitter also gained some points post-ban as the “social media service you turn to first for news and information” up from 10% of all social media users pre-ban to 14% of social media users post-ban.

Edison Research has been tracking social media behaviors as part of The Infinite Dial® since 2008. The Social Habit provides the ability to analyze data on social media users by political party affiliation or political ideology, among many other demographic variables. For more information on The Social Habit, visit:

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