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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 31, 2009

Survey: Teens see little value in Twitter

A recent rash of articles claims that teens don't use Twitter and that the platform isn't cool. To try to get to the bottom of the debate, one expert decided to ask those who know best... the teens.

by Helen Leggatt

twitter2 logo bird.jpgSocial networking website, myYearbook, recently ran a survey of over 10,000 U.S. teens aged 13 - 17 to see if they could ascertain the real reasons behind their seeming avoidance of Twitter.

What they found was interesting. Not only did Twitter have a higher percentage of teens than Facebook (11% vs. 9%), but they also visited the website more often than 25 - 44 year olds (5.2 times per month vs. 5 times per month).

"To be sure, the truthiness of the headline "Teens Don't Tweet" is persuasive," writes Geoff Cook, cofounder and CEO of myYearbook in a recent guest post on TechCrunch. "It really does feel true, and on one level it is: the vast majority of teens don't tweet. Of course, the vast majority of the adult population doesn't tweet either."

The survey found that Twitter doesn't engage teens as much as social hubs like Facebook and MySpace. In fact, many signed up for the service and never used it again. Why? Because, explains Cook, they are already satisfying their need to keep their status up-to-date, follow celebrities/bands and stay in touch with others via the likes of Facebook and MySpace.

"Most teens don't use Twitter because it doesn't enable them to do anything they can't already do elsewhere, which is the same reason most adults don't use Twitter," writes Cook.

"It has nothing to do with any teen-specific concerns like texting plans or safety. It comes down to something more simple: delivering value beyond Facebook and MySpace -- a competitive moat that Facebook is bridging one move at a time, from the Everyone button to the acquisition of FriendFeed to the centrality of the stream itself."

The future of teens on Twitter doesn't look too bright. When asked if they would eventually get a Twitter account, 83% said no and 63% believe it's a passing fad. The number one reason for not being on Twitter was "it's lame", followed by "my friends don't use it" and "I don't understand it".

Tags: Facebook, microblogging, MySpace, social marketing, social media, social networking, teens, Twitter

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  • edward

    I think you have got to be a bit of a baby head to use twitter. Who the f--- really cares about what you think. Grow up. Get back to your own life. The computer doesn't expand your horizons, only the number of complete strangers who can view your intimate? details. Do you really want that. Go on idiots twitter twitter it's a wierd, funny only world. No wonder people can be led into all kinds of stupid things. People are people. Even at the highest levels of the rulers of our world, we should never forget, they are just human beings like you and i



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