Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Millennials & Twitter

by Laurie Sullivan, Yesterday, 7:45 AM, MediaPost

Millennials -- 18- to-26-year-olds -- don't see value in Twitter, although they spend hours daily texting friends and communicating on social networks in real time, according to a study released Monday from the Participatory Marketing Network (PMN).

The study suggests that only 22% of Millennials use Twitter, the real-time microblogging site that allows posts of up to 140 characters. Of those young people who use Twitter, 85% said they follow friends, 54% follow celebrities, 29% follow family, and 29% follow companies. That's not great news for marketers and companies trying to reach this demographic through the site.

"Twitter has a problem on their hands if they want to become a long-term viable player," says Michael Della Penna, PMN co-founder and executive chairman. "Part of that communication of value must speak to Gen Y and show them the benefit of using Twitter."

Some might suggest that Millennials aren't the only ones who don't see the value in Twitter.

When asked about social networks, nearly all who participated in the survey revealed having an active profile on at least one site. Eighty-nine percent have downloaded an application to their profile page; 89%, photos; 53%, games; 51%, entertainment; 32%, news; and 29%, weather.

Mobile social networking is heating up for Millennials, too. Thirty-eight percent have an iPhone or iPod Touch. More than 50% have downloaded games; 35%, entertainment; 31%, lifestyle; 28% have downloaded free financial applications, and 7% have paid financial applications. More than one-quarter -- 26 percent -- indicated that they have not downloaded any.

PMN conducted the study in May 2009 with its research partner, the Lubin School of Business' Interactive and Direct Marketing (IDM) Lab at Pace University, by questioning 200 PMN panel members and consumers between the ages of 18-24.

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