yes it can be used informally and formally and in academic papers even in newspapers and on television media reports. It is fully colloquial and not in a slang sense that many people mistakenly refer to as slang, bad or incorrect usage. This is a good description explaining that.
1, 2. Colloquial, conversational, informal refer to types of speech or to usages not on a formal level. Colloquial is often mistakenly used with a connotation of disapproval, as if it meant “vulgar” or “bad” or “incorrect” usage, whereas it is merely a familiar style used in speaking and writing. Conversational refers to a style used in the oral exchange of ideas, opinions, etc.: an easy conversational style. Informal means without formality, without strict attention to set forms, unceremonious: an informal manner of speaking; it describes the ordinary, everyday language of cultivated speakers.