Growth in the use of digital health communication channels has dramatically changed the nature of communication. The internet provides unparalleled opportunities to reach a range of individuals with vital information about health and a variety of other topics — and to tailor messages to audiences’ literacy levels, cultural orientation and channel preference. There are currently 2.5 billion social media users globally, and 70% of Americans now use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content and share information.
Millennials are the most active generation on social media, with 88% of Americans ages 18 to 29 using Facebook and 75% of them having created at least one social media account. Fewer adults over age 30 use social media, but their adoption is still high. More than 60% of adults older than 65 use Facebook. These numbers show a significant increase from six years ago, when only 6% of people 65 and older used social media.
Projections signal continued growth, with recent data suggesting that worldwide use of social media will increase 18% by 2020. Some data report more than 5 billion people, or about two-thirds of the world’s population, will be using social media by 2020.