A new Pew Research Center report shows people in various countries are more likely to share views about music and movies than any other topics. In 21 countries surveyed, 67% said they were likely to discuss music and movies (63% in the US) while the percent of respondents who share views on community issues, sports and politics were 46%, 43% and 34%, respectively. Only 14% of respondents said they share views on religion, although that number was 32% in the U.S.
The report is based on surveys taken between March 17 to April 20 and cover usage of social media service such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. The surveys spanned all continents except Australia.
While half of the people surveyed said they used social media, the response varied by country. Social media is used by 52% of respondents in the U.K. and 50% of respondents in the U.S. and Russia, but usage is far lower in Mexico (33%), India (6%) and Pakistan (3%).
Regardless of the country, people aged 18 to 29 were most likely to use social networking. In the US, 80% of respondents 18 to 29 said they use social networking compared to 59% of respondents aged 30 to 49 and just 28% of respondents 50 and over. The gap between old and young was even more pronounced in the U.K. as 94% of respondents aged 18 to 29 use social media compared to 22% of respondents aged 50 and over.
Usage of social media weighs heavily on today's music services. Most services allow users to create accounts with Facebook and log in using the social network. Incorporating Facebook allows a service to import a user's friends and interests, thus offering a better user experience through social features and recommendations. Ticketmaster, which has added social features that allow people to see which friends are attending upcoming concerts, is also a more valuable service to those who use Facebook.
On average, 64% of respondents who own a mobile phone said they access social networks on the devices. The response rate varied from a high of 79% in Egypt to a low of 31% in China. U.S. mobile phone owners were slightly below average in accessing social networks via mobile at 60%, although they more likely than other respondents to use the devices to access information and news.