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Did you know Facebook owns Instagram? Most Americans don’t

Did you know Facebook owns Instagram? Most Americans don’t
[Photo: Flickr user Anthony Quintano]

A new survey may explain why people who loudly delete Facebook often stay on Instagram and WhatsApp.

The Pew Research Center asked 4,272 adults living in the United States a series of 10 questions and found that Americans’ understanding of technology-related issues is generally not that great.

When asked the series of questions designed to assess digital savviness on topics like cybersecurity, privacy, and social media, the median number of correct answers was four. To put that another way, only 20% of adults answered seven or more questions correctly, and just 2% got all 10 questions correct.

The Pew Research Center’s survey found that digital knowledge varies a lot across demographics. Adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree and people under the age of 50 tended to be able to answer more of the questions correctly. They found a double-digit gap between people who had a bachelor’s or advanced degree and those who have a high school education or less.

There were a few stumpers regardless of demographics, though: Only 15% of adults correctly identified a photo of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and two-factor authentication continues to confuse people.

While the world will be forgiven, or perhaps even applauded, for not being able to pick Dorsey out of a lineup, one would hope that by now most Americans would know that Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram, but just 29% of Americans surveyed were aware of that fact. Guess that explains all those irony-free Instagram posts saying “Sayonara Facebook!”

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