Huh, so Twitter is only for us old folks?

by jeffhilimire on October 16, 2009

Two articles I read recently* talked about how the largest user base of Twitterers (or Tweeters, I always get messed up trying to conjugate Twitter) are in the 25 and older age range.  They also talk about how in fact teenagers are barely using the service.

The reasons seem to be that the young folks have already decided on a social network to connect with their friends, and its called Facebook.  So they have trouble seeing the need for yet another way to talk to their network (plus they text like crazy, even sometimes to a dangerous degree).

You also have older people (when did I become “older people”…) using Twitter for business purposes, which doesn’t exactly appeal to the teenagers.

But I’m interested in what YOU think about this trend of Twitter being fueled by older generations rather than the way we typically see social networks grow from the young-ens.

* Who’s Driving Twitters Popularity? Not Teens and Why Adults Have Fed Twitter’s Growth

  • Stephanie

    A few months ago I read a similar statistic. My thought then was that for all the brands that wouldn't try Twitter because their target audience wasn't “kids” … they were missing an opportunity.

    I think it makes sense that Twitter is fueled by an older generation. I see Twitter used as a place to share thinking by sharing articles, quick thoughts and to stimulate thinking through pointed questions. It's also a place to follow other important thinkers to stay in the know. Not to mention that Twitter is quickly becoming a place that news breaks. Let's be honest, these aren't *typically* the interests of tween and teens. That comes later.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Good points Stephanie. The next question is, do the young folks eventually migrate to Twitter or do they never see the reason?

  • http://twitter.com/Jmart730 Josh Martin

    I think teens are so accustomed to how MySpace & Facebook works & that they find Twitter boring. They like the ability to customize features on their page, take quizzes, have a conversation with friends on their wall, etc. Thus, I think those teens that have experienced Twitter have gotten bored with it rather quickly.

  • J_Drew

    It's a great question – but in my opinion this trend has a lot of valid reasoning behind it. As narcissistic as many people argue Facebook is, it truly is a novel way to stay in touch with friends and keep up on acquaintances. I do not know of many people who use Facebook to meet new friends. Also, Facebook offers so many features and different ways to interact with your friends. Twitter, on the other hand, does not offer anything so novel for teens to interact with their friends that they can't already do on Facebook. Twitter boils down to broadcasting messages out into a wide open space where people that you really may or may not care about may or may not hear you. And it also takes a lot more effort…effort that could have been spent texting with one's friends :)

  • http://www.allthatiknow.com/ Tomer Tishgarten

    I think that Josh Martin is right about why teens aren't into Twitter. If Twitter was built from the ground up to support images, videos, etc., then they would likely flock to it. As humans, we seem to seek the simplest solution so having to use Twitpic with Twitter just to add a picture to my Twitter feed seems to be too much work.

    But, I also think that there's another factor that's driving teens to Facebook. Assuming that today's teens are not much different than us when we were their age, I suspect that teens still chat and share but only within their own cliques. With Facebook, teens can easily create groups and fine-tune the sharing of their messages. That way, they can add mom/dad to their Facebook profile so that they think that they're connected yet hide the pictures from the party that they attended. :)

  • http://www.allthatiknow.com/ Tomer Tishgarten

    I think that Josh Martin is right about why teens aren't into Twitter. If Twitter was built from the ground up to support images, videos, etc., then they would likely flock to it. As humans, we seem to seek the simplest solution so having to use Twitpic with Twitter just to add a picture to my Twitter feed seems to be too much work.

    But, I also think that there's another factor that's driving teens to Facebook. Assuming that today's teens are not much different than us when we were their age, I suspect that teens still chat and share but only within their own cliques. With Facebook, teens can easily create groups and fine-tune the sharing of their messages. That way, they can add mom/dad to their Facebook profile so that they think that they're connected yet hide the pictures from the party that they attended. :)

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