Don’t Tweet for Me, Argen-teena…

Over the past weekend, I stumbled across an article on the Washington Post which basically highlights that Twitter is just not that popular among teens. Interestingly enough, I had just finished a position paper on IBM’s use of Twitter and was not that surprised.

However, I would have been prior to starting that assignment. It would seem to be the perfect vehicle for a generation that just can’t seem to show off enough.

I’m here to state that once again, common assumptions are often far from accurate. According to this article, only 8% of online teens “have embraced Twitter”. In the article, Danah Boyd, a researcher with Microsoft Research and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society indicates that “most teens are just not interested in being truly public”. So while they may follow the tweets of favored celebrities, putting their own thoughts on the web is apparently an act saved for Facebook.

Other factors that work against Twitter from a teenaged point of view are apparently:

  • The limitations to 140 characters: Why be concise when you can ramble?
  • Texting is much more in tune with the way teens prefer to communicate.
  • The desire to keep in touch with friends, not the world:  They want their friends to know what’s going on with them (and for them to know what’s going on with their friends), but really don’t care about everyone else one way or another
  • Twitter is just not a place to gather: Guess we just have to figure out how to have a twitfest!

Shortly after reading this article, I saw a selection of opinions posited by teens about Twitter and Blogging in the Charlotte Observer. All I can say, after reading this poll,  is that if they have little love for Twitter, they find blogging open distasteful. Not that they don’t want to be heard, but again, a public forum, and in the word of one teen in the article:” TEENS DO NOT LIKE THINKING OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL”. I assure you, the caps are not mine. You really should read through this poll if you want to communicate as a marketer to teens.

The poll also highlights the quest on the part of teens for a sense of belonging that I’m assuming gathering blog readers or “followers” on Twitter just doesn’t capture. This need to belong seems to be at least one thing that hasn’t changed among teenagers through the generations.

References:

St. George, D. (2010, February 3). Twitter not all that popular among teenagers, report finds. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2010, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/03/AR2010020302591.html?wpisrc=nl_tech

Teens: ‘No’ to blogging, tweets; ‘Yes’ to Facebook. (2010, February 8).  The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved February 9, 2010, from http://www.charlotteobserver.com/407/story/1234055.html

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One Response to “Don’t Tweet for Me, Argen-teena…”

  1. merritt111 Says:

    I wonder who conducts these “reports” sometimes. In my focus goup of one, every teenager I know uses Twitter and has many followers but Myspace still seems to be king because they like to discover bands and they are small enough to talk to their fans.

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