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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 26, 2007

Social networking sites attract different class of members

Reports are out about new observations made by a U.S. PhD student which suggest a class divide between social networking sites MySpace and Facebook.

by Helen Leggatt

In a blog entry on her website, Danah Boyd, a UC Berkeley PhD student, wrote of her observations of who preferred which social network, and why.

MySpace, she says, is home to “Latino and Hispanic teens, immigrant teens”, “burnouts” and “alternative kids”. Facebook users, she writes, tend to be from “primarily white families” and are “in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities”.

What many articles fail to point out is that this divide has always existed. Facebook membership was once limited to the Ivies. Later, it was expanded out to less elite schools, remaining somewhat exclusive and invite-only. Only late last year was it made available to high school students and it’s just begun providing MySpace-esque functionality. It’s not hard to see how the social class disparity came about.

Tags: Facebook, MySpace, social networking

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