Social networking turns out to be more for the young at heart than just the young. A recent study by Amanda Lenhart and Susannah Fox of Pew Internet and the American Life Project gives a slightly surprising glimpse into who really spends their time tweeting and hashing.
And the winner is?
The largest demographic currently tweeting their lives to the twitterverse are those who fall within the 18-35 year old range with a whopping 40% of the social networking site. Generation Y, also known as the “First Digitals” and the “Net Generation,” comprises the vast majority of this demographic.
Quantcast, a site that reveals demographic information about Internet website usage, also points the finger at the Net Generation as the most prolific twitterers. Quantcast reports that 43% of users fall within the 18-35 year old demographic.
Surprisingly, the teenage population only comprises a miniscule 8% of Twitter users, which is a low comparative percentage, especially given the teenage demographic’s proficiency with the Internet and social media as a whole.
Why is the Generation Y demographic solidly in the lead when it comes to Twitter use?
The answer is simple: Generation Y is the demographic that has developed social networking tools like Twitter, and they have developed them with their own needs and desires in mind. This Net Generation is the first group to grow up with the digital world at their fingertips.
This demographic doesn’t just use Twitter to connect with friends, either. Twitter has turned into a one-stop-shop for the Net Generation’s RSS feeds, news, celebrity gossip (straight from the celebrities), friend updates, social commentary, and constant web conversation. If something is happening in the world, it is searchable on Twitter if one just knows the right #hashtag.
Some have argued that Twitter is just a fad or trend, but with the pure volume of visitors it receives each month and the fact that it has experienced continual growth over the past three years, it appears that Twitter and similar social networking and micro-blogging sites are here to stay. Backing from corporate users, celebrities, and even governmental sources are doing even more to give Twitter the credibility with all demographics to keep it around for a long time to come.
For more information, have a look at Quantcast.com’s statistics on Twitter, as well as the Pew Internet study.
For more on Twitter, check out the following articles:
Twitter 101: What Are Hashtags, and Why Do I Care?
Twitter 101: Knowing when to Follow
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