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Feb 06 2010

Declination in Teenage Blog and Twitter Usage

Over the last few days, I’ve come across a number of articles reporting  that teens are now blogging and tweeting less than young adults.

Now, being a person who does a little bit of statistical analysis for a crust I found it somewhat annoying that the majority of articles seemed to regurgitate numbers without so much as citing the source of the analysis nor any graphical representation of these figures.

I did however come across an article at Shaping the Future of the Newspaper that actually references the original article at Pew Research Center Publications. There is also the full report containing the summary of findings available should you wish to delve deeper.

Thank goodness someone stills quotes their information sources.

Now, I won’t go into the numbers as you can read the study for yourself (and other articles have done that to death already).Part 3: Social Media seems to hold the crux of the syndicated story.

Based on the results, it is quite clear that Twitter is the black sheep of the social media services amongst the teens and the percentage of teens who share content online has been consistent whilst those that either blog or remix content have somewhat dropped. In contrast, young adults (ages 18 – 29 according to this particular study) have had an uplift (to a lesser degree) across all areas.

Could perhaps the elder teens in the previous study in 2006 (notably the younger members of Generation Y) that have moved into the young adult category account for this shift? Does Generation Z have a different take on the social media?

What has also been interesting to note is that young adults much prefer laptops over desktops in conjunction with an incredibly high propensity for mobile wireless usage. This might support the notable increase in content sharing, remixing and creation by this age group as there is no substitute for sharing content as it happens or on the move. Personally, I am not surprised that the 18 – 29 age group is lapping up these technologies given that have grown up with this stuff. I should know as I am in this age group and always have my iPhone whilst my netbook isn’t too far away when I am travelling. Having said that, my desktop is the workhorse when I am at home.

To me, it seems clear that Generation Z is interested in sharing non-textual content (whether it be their own or something they have come across) such as photos, videos, links, etc. What remains to be seen is whether or not there will be a continued declination in their participation in independent publishing and heterogeneous blended content.

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