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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 14, 2009

comScore: Twitter not teeming with teens

First Facebook goes gray, and now Twitter is tweeting through its dentures. New figures from comScore suggest that the micro-blogging platform may be a lot more mature than it looks, and sometimes sounds.

by Helen Leggatt

twitter2 logo bird.jpgWhile many (about 200 million at the last count) can appreciate the attraction of Facebook for keeping up with friends and family, and can see how that would appeal to older generations - what about Twitter? Where does the fast-moving, micro-blogging tool fit in?

I admit, I was surprised to find that Facebook isn't the only social media that is attracting mums, dad, grandparents and, quite possibly, great-grandparents - it seems Twitter's maturing quickly, too. Recent figures from comScore show that folk in the 45-54 age range are 36% more likely than average to visit Twitter and that the majority of its 10 million or so users are aged 35 or over.

Not exactly teeming with teens, is it? Why?

One reason for the rise in older Tweeters could be its increasing use within the business environment. British businesses have recently witnessed a big rise in the adoption of the micro-blogging platform, many having signed up within the last couple of months. In addition, recent figures from Nielsen found that many older users tweeted only while at work and 35% accessed Twitter from home only.

Of course, it could be that what we're seeing from the graying of social media is that early adoption of new technology isn't always limited to youngsters. After all, any 50 year old nowadays will have been using the Internet since the age of 35 and has, most likely, integrated it into their daily lives both at work and at leisure.

Are we seeing the death of the age-based early adopter demographic? Societrends' Nick Barron believes so. "We're seeing the destruction of the early adopter demographic, or at least the shifting of it from a group defined by age to a group defined by education and professional status," he recently wrote on his blog.

comScore's Sarah Radwanick agrees. "Not only teenagers and college students can be counted among the "technologically inclined," which means that trends are much more prone to take off in older age segments than they used to," she wrote on the comScore blog announcement. "And with those age 25 and older representing a much bigger segment of the population than the under 25 crowd, it might help explain why Twitter has expanded its reach so broadly so quickly over the past few months."

Tags: age, comScore, demographics, Facebook, micro-blogging, social media, Twitter

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