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The young aren’t using Twitter?! Who is surprised?

August 11, 2009 Leave a comment

There were quite a few posts flying around last week about this, for example this from the ft.com and ‘why teens don’t tweet’ from Mashable. Surely, people aren’t surprised about this.

(I am going to generalize about young people a bit in this post) Most young people don’t see the need for some digital social networks because they have their physical ones in full operation. Everyday at school they are seeing, pretty much, ALL their network of friends. They all have mobiles so are using them to chat, text and exchange lurid images. There is nothing that a social network can offer that will drastically improve their social life…so why bother? The real-time engagement that they get from physical and mobile contact means they don’t need to do it on the social web. When you were at school, how many friends were you in regular contact that you didn’t actually see at least every week? Not too many.

As soon as they start to leave school or their social circle becomes more disparate, ie when they go to college or enter the job world, the value of a Facebook becomes much greater. Also, as you get older your social circle increases and you need a repository for that data. Young people should maintain their real social interactions as long as possible but as we all know, eventually your connections and friends start to spread out.

Twitter is becoming a breaking news and social search platform. It is aiming to let users “discover what is going on in the world, right now”, which again, the young don’t really care that much about. The social platforms are maturing and finding their own identities and purpose, so its unrealistic to think all demographic of user is going to adopt every social network available.

Young people are no different to any other age group. They use the communication and connectivity tools which give them the most social value at that point in time.

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