Tag Archives: nielsen

Twitter feels more and more like just another media channel

There’s a lot of online buzz lately about teens not using Twitter.  And there’s quantitative data to back it up.  In a recent report, Nielsen provides data showing that 25-54 year old’s represent the biggest age segment of Twitter users. What’s more, it’s this segment that has fueled Twitter’s astronomical growth in recent months.  In contrast, the 2-24 age group accounts for only 16% of Twitter users.  (I don’t know any two-year old’s on Twitter, come to think of it.)

Twitter by Age Group

This isn’t surprising when I think about my own experience on Twitter lately.  It seems like an ever increasing number of new follows come from people trying to sell me something, many of them hawking the latest “get rich quick” scheme.  I can’t recall any of them being from the under-25-year-old set or late Gen Xer’s.  I suspect the huckster segment correlates pretty closely with that smack-dab-in-the-middle age group.

One hypothesis for the dearth of young Twitter users is that Twitter is a social network for meeting new people, and this isn’t what teens use the social web for.  They join communities that help them keep up with friends they’ve already made “in the real world,” which is why they are well represented on Facebook, whose functionality is more suited to that.

But I suspect it has just as much to do with the fact that Twitter feels more and more like just another media channel for selling stuff.  And because it costs nothing, even the crummiest of wares get sold there.  You don’t have to be under 25 to feel like that’s not a place you want to be.  Of course it’s easy enough to filter the garbage out of your Twitter feed.  But still, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be more agreeable, and useful, for there to be two Twitters — one social, one commercial.   When I’m using Twitter to make social connections I would log into former.  And when I’m in business mode, I’d log into the Twitter that feeds me commercial tweets, which I am happy to receive when I’ve got my business, or customer, hat on.

That might not only get more teens interested in Twitter,  it might make it a better experience for everyone.

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New moms are heavy into social media


Despite its reputation as the most natural thing in the world, caring for a new baby is described by many 1st-time moms as the greatest challenge they’ve ever encountered.  Deprived of sleep, coming to terms with fundamental changes of lifestyle and priorities, faced every day with a new questions, new uncertainties, and new decisions to be made, it’s no wonder that new moms seek out advice and support and have a deep need to share their feelings and experiences.  So it’s also not surprising that, according to Nielsen’s report The Global Online Media Landscape released April 22 (d0wnload here), new moms have a high propensity to visit social networking sites compared to the broader 18+ female population and average online consumer.  Experienced moms also participate more in social media than these other groups. (I think these are US data but I couldn’t find a definitive reference.)

Here are a few key findings (indexes vs. average online consumer):

  • Visited social networking site: Female 18+ (119), Experienced Mom (122), New Mom (286)
  • Publish/Own a Blog: Female 18+ (109), Experienced Mom (123), New Mom (270)
  • Visited both blogging site and social networking site: Female 18+ (98), Experienced Mom (110), New Mom (262)
  • Mothers aged 25-35 with at least one child at home are 85% more likely to spend time on Facebook compared to the average online consumer

So if you’re a brand seeking to build strong relationships with new moms, it looks like social media is something you should be thinking about.

In addition to these specific findings about moms, the Nielsen study has a wealth of useful data on the developing of digital and social media, how it’s being used and by whom.  Among other things, it confirms that usage of video and social media are the fastest growing digital categories.


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