TWITTER IS NOT POPULAR AMONG TEENAGERS according to a report from analyst firm Morgan Stanley AND a survey by research group Participatory Marketing Network (PMN). The retention rate of Twitter is also much lower than that of social networks like Facebook and MySpace during their explosive growth phases, says a Nielsen Online report.
In the Morgan Stanley report (summarized on ReadWriteWeb and available here courtesy of the Financial Times), 15-year-old intern Matthew Robson says today’s teens aren’t into traditional media (think TV, radio, newspapers). For example, they don’t bother reading “pages and pages of text” (newspapers) when they could instead “watch the news summarized on the internet or TV”. They watch less TV than ever before, thanks to online streaming services like BBC’s iPlayer. When commercials come on, teens simply change the channel. While they occasionally tune into radio stations, they prefer online sites like Last.fm where they can stream music ad-free and, more importantly, pick the playlist – not some unknown DJ.
Most teens are into the Internet. They use Facebook for social networking, search and research topics with Google, watch videos on YouTube, and download music for their iPods from file-sharing sites. Teens do like viral campaigns but see banner ads and pop-ups as annoying and pointless. They tend to ignore ads entirely and never click through. Teens also tend to use phones simply for talking and texting. They also share music files with friends using Bluetooth, since the service is free and most phones now support it. They do not own smartphones or engage in video messaging or calling, due to cost. They don’t bother with mobile email either.
However, despite interest in new media, most teens see no point in using Twitter. “Most have signed up for the service,” notes Robson, “but then just leave it as they realize that they are not going to update it” apparently because “no one is viewing their profile”. Besides, to update Twitter via text message takes credit (cell phone text plans) and they’d rather use that credit to text their friends. Robson’s report wasn’t based on any sort of statistical analysis, “just good ol’ fashioned teenage honesty”.
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