Monday, October 19, 2009

Teens are not making Twitter Popular

Most teenagers are still texting on their mobile phones instead of tweeting. According to ComScore, only 11% of Twitter users are from age 12-17, which indicates that Twitter’s popularity is really driven by adults not teens. In the past, the younger generation leads the way to popularizing innovations, but not in the case of Face book users. In fact, even though teenagers fueled the growth of some social networks, today they account for only 14% of MySpace users and only 9% of Face book users.

As the web grows, so does its users and Twitters’ success represents a new model for internet success. The idea that young adults are needed to promote new technology is not accurate. The fact that Twitter is a very public in nature, may be the reason why teenagers do not want to use it because they want to hide things from their parents. If they are texting from their phone, their parents will not be able to read it. If they Tweet, then there is a possibility of letting everyone know their every move. Another reason why teens do not use Twitter may be that they want to just stay connected to their friends and not everyone else. Though Twitters’ founders originally conceived that they wanted a site to keep people in touch with acquaintances, it turns out that it is better for asking questions and broadcasting ideas to the world or for marketing product. In addition, it is useful for promoting the person tweeting, which is something teenagers are not interested in.

In my opinion, I find that adults are more attracted to Twitter because it is a one-to-many type of network and adults in the professional world find that Twitter works better than a social network like Face book that’s optimized for friend communication.

What is interesting is that it is the adults that have driven the growth of many popular web services. For instance, YouTube seems to attracted young adults and even more senior citizens before teenagers came on board. Even the early blogger user bases were adults and LinkedIn also built a successful social network for professionals.

Even new gadgets are being used more by adults. Kindle from Amazon first became popular with adults as well as others like iPhones and GPS devices.

Eventually, teenagers will age and then their online preference will also change but, they will have the advantage over the current adult population because they grew up using this technology.

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