There was much interest last month in a report written by a 15 year old boy who was on a work placement with Morgan Stanley in which he claimed that teens do not use twitter. This statement was the catalyst to the start of a debate about who does use twitter? Many people may have taken it for granted that it must have been teens that were using it as Twitter was in the social media group an area which is largely dominated by young people online. This report did not have any large statistical data to back up these claims as it was based purely on a sample of one, but did it actually bring to light a surprising development?
The answer is yes it did, statistical analysis company Nielsen carried out a study of 250,000 US internet users and found that less than 16% of twitter users were under 25. In actual fact 90% of tweet deck users were in the over 25 age group and 84% of twitter.com users were over 25. So there you have it the statistical data backs it up: Teens do not Tweet. (How jealous am I of a 15 year old who managed to kick up massive media interest and produce a relevant and innovative report and all while on a work placement!)
Anyway, the question is now why are teens twitter shy? Or maybe why don’t teens like twitter? This is all very interesting as teenagers are one of society’s most trend aware groups and the dominant force behind social media. It has been suggested that the reason teenagers are not using twitter is because it is not as friend based as say Facebook or Myspace. Those forms of social media are all about your own group of friends following them talking to them and interacting (or stalking as some may say) with them. Twitter is more based in real time, it is about updating your status with the what are you doing but it is also about following real time current affairs, re-tweeting topics you find you are mutually interested in. Performing real time live searches and following celebrities or politicians. Where else can you follow world wide current events in real time? Perhaps it is not too presumptuous to say that these matters are not as important to teenagers and say what Sarah is doing on a Friday night may be more important than what is going on elsewhere in the world.
The rest of the social media sites are about the continuation or the formation of friendships whereas Twitter is now a platform for bloggers and businesses. There, you have it the massive growth in the popularity is not down to the youth of today but rather the over 25’s. So thank you 15 year old intern for bringing to light this important observation and development in social media usage and I am sure there is a job waiting in for you in Morgan Stanley…(Damn you.) *kidding *