Are More People Public or Private on Social Media?

In an age where thirteen-year-olds have TikToks and grandparents keep up on Facebook, just about everyone has some form of social media. 

But how much do people choose to share on social media? How many people choose to keep their accounts private over public? 

Turns out, it’s evenly split: nearly 50% of the people we surveyed keep their accounts in private mode, while the remaining half chose to be public. 

According to Kyrsten Holland, internet expert with, “The young and the old have one thing in common: people 18–24 and 54+ are the age groups most likely to make their social media accounts public.” 

Read on to see which social media platforms people tend to be more private on—and which demographics favor greater privacy. 


We surveyed 1,000 men and women in the US ages 18+ to determine their thoughts on social media privacy.

In our survey, we focused on four major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. 

graph ranking the social media platforms people are most private on.
Graph detailing the percentage of people who block people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok
Visual representation describing how women the age of 25 to 34 are twice as likely to block someone of the same age group then men.

On Facebook, however, both genders are equally inclined to block someone.

Facebook trends

  • Although only 57% of Facebook users prefer to keep their accounts partially private, 79% don’t want their account searchable by search engines such as Google.
  • One gender isn’t more predisposed to block than the other. 74% of female respondents and 73% of male respondents say that they’ve blocked someone on Facebook. 
  • 79% of respondents don’t allow others to see their friends list. Additionally, 21% of Facebook users allow a public view of their friends list, while 52% of facebook users are cool with anyone requesting to be their friend.

Instagram trends

  • A whopping 63% of respondents have blocked someone from viewing their Instagram profile—and more than half of those respondents are female.
  • 50% of all respondents limit who can comment on their posts or filter comments for specific words and phases.
  • 42% of respondents allow anyone to see, share, and reply to their Instagram stories.
  • Fake Instagram accounts are most prevalent among respondents 25–34.

TikTok trends

  • Only 25% of respondents have a TikTok account, compared to 91% of respondents with a Facebook account.
  • 10% of respondents use TikTok on a weekly basis.
  • Only 36% of respondents that use TikTok have blocked another user on TikTok, compared to Facebook, where 74% of respondents have blocked someone.
  • More women than men have blocked someone on TikTok.

Twitter trends

  • 49% of respondents don’t have a Twitter account.
  • Of those that have a Twitter account, 21% choose to keep it public and 19% choose to keep it private. The remaining 60% either have both a private and public account, or are unaware of their Twitter account’s privacy settings.
  • 55% of respondents disable Twitter’s locational data collection, and 46% don’t allow Twitter to use their data to personalize their feed. 
  • 55% of respondents control who can send them messages or have disabled read receipts, 50% have restricted their discoverability using an email or phone number, and 51% mute notifications that contain restricted words.

Gender trends 

  • Women are twice as likely to make their accounts private, but men are more likely to read privacy policies. 59% of women keep their accounts private, while only 44% of men prefer to keep their social media accounts private.  
  • Women are 1.5 times more likely to block someone on social media than men. 
  • 71% of respondents check their advanced privacy settings when they join a social media platform—55% of those are female and 45% of those are male.

Age group trends  

  • Based on survey results, respondents in the 45-54 age range are more private than any other age group, with more than 78% of them choosing to keep their accounts either partially or completely private. 
  • Respondents over the age of 54 were the most likely to keep their social media accounts public, with more than 15% choosing not to use any privacy settings. 
  • Respondents 18–24 are second-most likely to keep their accounts public, with 11% choosing not to activate any privacy settings. 
  • More than half of respondents between 18–24 chose a new password every time they set up an account, and more than 77% of respondents over 54 claim they will never reuse the same password. 
  • Facebook is most popular with folks over the age of 35, with more than 87% of those respondents choosing it over any other platform on a weekly basis.
  • Facebook is the most used social media platform across all age groups, with the exception of our youngest respondents, 18–24, who are more likely to use Instagram on a weekly basis. 


If you have questions or would like more specific data, please email us at

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