36% of 16-24s use social media for product research

With Pinterest launching a new visual search button to help users find things they might want to buy, today we take a look at how the youngest internet users are researching brands and products online.

Search engines remain the default go-to point when 16-24s are looking for more information about a brand or product, but it’s now 36% who are turning to social networks. This gives search engines a narrow 6-point lead (compared to a much-wider 42-point gap for 55-64s).

Taking a look at where these youngest consumers over-index the most is also pretty revealing. Not only are they significantly ahead of average for social networks generally, they over-index by 30% for researching brands on micro-blogs and by 20% for online pinboards. And with Pinterest and other names in the social space finding more and more ways to encourage such behaviors, it’s surely only a matter of time before social networks finally take the lead from traditional search engines among the youngest generation.