Pew Internet & American Life Project released a report Feb 12: Twitter and status updating. Some really interesting numbers and demographics came out of it (that shouldn’t be all that surprising):
Growth of Microblogging American Adults
- 6% in May 2008 (used Twitter, status updates, etc)
- 9% in November 2008
- 11% in December 2008
Ages of People Using Twitter
- 19% online adults aged 18-24 (use Twitter, status updates, etc)
- 20% online adults aged 25-34
- 10% online adults aged 35-44
- 5% or less for online adults over 45
Median ages for some social media sites:
- 26 years old for Facebook
- 27 years old or MySpace
- 31 years old for Twitter
- 40 years old for LinkedIN
At first I was a little surprised that the median age for Facebook is younger than MySpace. However, thinking about the growth of Facebook vs MySpace, it seems that the kids who started on MySpace are still there and their numbers are not growing as compared to Facebook (where the cool kids and adults now hang out).
Hopefully the surprise isn’t that the young’ins are using social media, but that there may be more “older” folks using these tools than you once thought. My own observation is that the people I graduated from High School with is around the cut off for adopters of social media. I’d guess that maybe half of my class (’89) are on Facebook, the full class older than me (’85) has many less, and the full class younger (’93) have a much higher number online.
So the takeaway isn’t to go open up a Twitter account, etc, and call yourself “arrived”, “hip”, “young again”, or “groovy”. Nope. In fact, stay out! That is until you have a plan — a strategy of how you’ll use the tools to connect and interact with the people who are there. Otherwise you’ll just be a-wandering around looking foolish and we’ll all tweet behind your back calling you a “fogey” and “fuddy duddy”. Ouch.
If you want to connect with me on Twitter, feel free. I’m @orangejack.
UPDATE: After posting this, I found some great stats not about who is on twitter, but HOW we use twitter.