Twitter users send 200mn tweets a day


twitter logo thumb Twitter users send 200mn tweets a dayTwitter users are sending 200 million tweets a day, up from 65 million a year ago, the micro-blogging service says.

‘For context on the speed of Twitter’s growth, in January of 2009, users sent two million tweets a day,’ Twitter said in a blog post on Thursday.

The San Francisco-based Twitter was founded in 2006. It has more than 200 million users.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 13 per cent of the online US adults aged 18 and older use Twitter, up from eight per cent in November 2010.

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SocNet Users Get Older


pew research social network site users by age 2008 2010 jun11.thumbnail SocNet Users Get OlderThe average age of social network users rose between 2008 and 2010, according to data from the Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project. For example, the percentage of social network users age 18-22 fell 43%, from 28% to 16%.

In addition, the percentage of social network users age 23-35 dropped 20%, from 40% to 32%. Meanwhile, the percentage of users age 36-49 rose 18%, from 22% to 26%. Most significantly, the percentage of users age 50-65 more than doubled, from 9% to 20%.

In total, 52% of social network users in 2010 were 36 and up, a 58% increase from 33% in 2008.

 SocNet Users Get OlderThere is considerable variance in the way people use various social networking sites. For example, 52% of Facebook users and 33% of Twitter users engage with the platform daily, while only 7% of MySpace and 6% of LinkedIn users do the same.

On Facebook on an average day, 15% of Facebook users update their own status, 22% comment on another’s post or status, 20% comment on another user’s photos, 26% “Like” another user’s content, and 10% send another user a private message.

The average American has just more than two discussion confidants (2.16); that is, people with whom they discuss important matters. Controlling for other factors, Pew found that someone who uses Facebook several times per day averages 9% more close, core ties in their overall social network compared with other internet users.

Pew looked at how much total support, emotional support, companionship and instrumental aid adults receive. On a scale of 100, the average American scored 75 on a scale of total support, 75 on emotional support (such as receiving advice), 76 in companionship (such as having people to spend time with), and 75 in instrumental aid (such as having someone to help if they are sick in bed).

Internet users in general score three points higher in total support, six points higher in companionship, and four points higher in instrumental support. A Facebook user who uses the site multiple times per day tends to score an additional five points higher in total support, five points higher in emotional support, and five points higher in companionship, than internet users of similar demographic characteristics. For Facebook users, the additional boost is equivalent to about half the total support that the average American receives as a result of being married or cohabitating with a partner.

While Facebook has the highest engagement rate of the “big five” social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube), the highest percentage of online consumers think having a LinkedIn account is important, according to an April 2011 study from ROI Research and Performics. Data from “S-Net: A Study in Social Media Usage and Behaviour” indicates 59% of online consumers rate having a LinkedIn account 4 or 5 on a five-point importance scale, compared to 53% giving this level of importance to having a Facebook account.

About the Data: Pew conducted a survey of 2,225 social network users on landline and cell phone from October 20 – November 28, 2010.

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Twitter Users Want Businesses to Answer Them


Social sites like Quora are designed specifically as question-and-answer venues where users can get expert help, but Twitter often serves as an informal tool for the same purpose. Users might ask their followers for advice, ask the world what a particular trending topic means, or hope for customer service help from a brand.

According to May 2011 research from InboxQ, a service to feed businesses questions from Twitter, Twitter users—especially ones with more followers and thus, presumably, more experience—tend to ask questions with tweets directed at all followers rather than using @ replies or direct messages. This means questions are often not directed at a relevant brand, but many users want brands to answer them anyway.

Eight in 10 Twitter users surveyed worldwide said they thought the answers businesses posted on Twitter were at least as trustworthy as those from regular people, and about six in 10 said they wanted businesses to respond to them on the microblogging service.

Yet just 21% of Twitter users with under 100 followers and 41% of users with over 100 followers said they had actually received a response from a business via Twitter.

Users indicated that more responsive brands would benefit from greater loyalty and purchasing. Almost 60% of respondents said they would be more likely to follow a brand that answered them, and 64% said they would be more likely to make a purchase from that brand.

InboxQ may have an interest in getting businesses to pay attention to questions posted to Twitter, but this research meshes with an already robust body of data about the kinds of interactions many social media users hope to have with brands. Consumers often indicate that they understand and accept the value exchange of connecting with companies in return for information that can help them. And they also often want brands to pay attention to them and not take their business for granted now that they have access to the powerful voice social media provides.

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Older Facebook Users Catching On to ‘Liking’ Brands


It took older web users a few years to begin social networking after it had been popularized by the younger set, but they soon became the fastest-growing segment of users on sites like Facebook. Now it appears they are also growing into a specific social media habit that had been more popular among younger adults: connecting with brands.

As recently as September 2010, based on research from Wedbush Securities, it seemed as if Facebook engagement with brands just might not interest users over age 55. At that point, only about one in four of Facebook’s oldest users had “liked” a brand on the site, compared with 60% of those ages 18 to 34.

By November 2010, over-55s had begun to close the gap, however, and by April 2011, nearly half were connecting with brands. Engagement had also risen among 18- to 34-year-olds as well as the 35-to-54 age group over the period. Overall, 59% of adult Facebook users had “liked” a brand as of April, up from 47% the previous September. Uptake among the oldest users appears to have been a major factor in this rise.

Increased engagement among older boomers and seniors suggests that Facebook users of all ages have some interest in connecting with brand pages, rather than appealing only to young adults. Since most older Facebook users still have not “liked” a brand, there could still be room to grow in this demographic. The climbing level of activity among the middle age group indicates that younger boomers could have just as much potential social engagement with brands as millennials and Gen Xers.

Typically, social media users report connecting with brands to get deals and discounts, as well as information about products and special offers. But what brand fans expect can vary. For example, affluent social media users tended to follow brands because of a preexisting affinity for them, and a desire to be kept informed. Many older users will fall into this group, due to the point they have reached in their careers and their longer opportunity to build up net worth.

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7.5 million Facebook users are under 13


Facebook icon thumb 7.5 million Facebook users are under 13Some 7.5 million of the 20 million minors who used Facebook in the past year were younger than 13, and a million of them were bullied, harassed or threatened on the site, an American study shows.

Even more troubling, more than five million Facebook users were 10 years old or younger, and they were allowed to use Facebook largely without parental supervision leaving them vulnerable to threats ranging from malware to sexual predators, the State of the Net survey by Consumer Reports found.

Facebook’s terms of service require users to be at least 13 years old but many children, or their parents, get around that rule by giving a false birth date when they sign up for the social networking site.

Parents of kids 10 and younger who use Facebook ‘seem to be largely unconcerned’ by their children’s use of the site, possibly because they think a young child is less vulnerable to internet risks, the study says.

But while a 10-year-old might not download pornography on the internet, he or she does ‘need protection from other hazards that might lurk on the internet, such as links that infect their computer with malware and invitations from strangers, not to mention bullies,’ the study says.

More than five million US households have been exposed in the past year to ‘some type of abuse’ via Facebook, including virus infections, identity theft and bullying, says the study, for which 2,089 US households were interviewed earlier this year.

Consumer Reports urged parents to delete their pre-teens’ Facebook accounts — or ask Facebook to do so by using the site’s ‘report an underage child’ form — and to monitor teenage kids’ accounts by friending them or keeping an eye on their activity via siblings’ or friends’ Facebook pages.

It also called on Facebook to ‘beef up its screening to drastically reduce the number of underage members.’

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement that the social networking site encourages ‘communication between parents/guardians and kids about their use of the internet.

‘Just as parents are always teaching and reminding kids how to cross the road safely, talking about internet safety should be just as important a lesson to learn,’ Noyes said.

But he also stressed ‘just how difficult it is to implement age restrictions on the internet’ and said there is ‘no single solution to ensuring younger children don’t circumvent a system or lie about their age.’

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Geolocation Users See Social Benefit


Finding a place liked by people they trust came in a distant second, cited by only about half as many geolocation users (21%). The only other benefit cited by a double-digit percentage of users was insight about travel/movement patterns (17%).

Survey results indicate about four in 10 (39%) smartphone operators use one or more location-based apps, with 61% not using any. Awareness levels are higher than usage levels, as 56% of smartphone operators report knowing about location-based apps.

 Geolocation Users See Social BenefitAbout four in 10 (42%) smartphone users consider Facebook Places their primary geolocation app, while roughly a quarter of the sample each choose Google Latitude and Foursquare, respectively. Twitter Places, Gowalla, and Whrrl collectively account for only 6%.

White Horse analysis suggests that Facebook Places has such strong adoption numbers because of the incidental lift provided by the success of the Facebook mobile app, which White Horse says was the most downloaded app on the planet at the time the report was released. If even a quarter of that number were in the US, user experimentation alone would make Facebook the leader in terms of gross market penetration.

 Geolocation Users See Social BenefitAmong smartphone owners who are aware of location-based apps but choose not to use them, about one-third cite privacy concerns as the chief barrier to their usage. More than 25% say they have no need, interest or benefit related to location-based apps, and close to 20% say location-based apps are redundant to how they already connect to their smartphones.

Another possible reason for the dominance of Facebook Places is the fact Facebook usage is considerably higher amongst smartphone users, according to recent data from ExactTarget which finds 23% of smartphone users check Facebook constantly throughout the day. This figure is about double the 12% of non-smartphone users who do so. Furthermore, 32% of smartphone users check Facebook at least once per day, 14% higher than the 28% of non-smartphone users who are daily Facebook checkers.

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Days of Double-Digit Growth in Social Network Users Are Over


Social networking now reaches most internet users in the US and has become an integral part of their lives. Thanks to the rapid growth of Facebook, updating status, posting comments and sharing links with friends have become routine activities for millions of people.

eMarketer estimates nearly 150 million US web users will use social networks via any device at least monthly this year, bringing the reach of such sites to 63.7% of the online population. But the days of double-digit growth in users are over as social networking reaches a saturation point. By 2013, 164.2 million Americans will use social networks, or 67% of internet users.

“With fewer new users signing up, social network users will be more sophisticated and discerning about the people and brands they want to engage with,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report, “US Social Network Usage: 2011 Demographic and Behavioral Trends.”

Even as the social network audience has broadened to include a significant number of people from the Generation X, boomer and senior age segments, the youngest age groups are still the most represented, active and engaged. The enormous usage increases in some older age groups over the past two years will be less pronounced in the coming years.

Still, more than half of internet users ages 45 to 64 and over four out of five 12- to- 34-year-old online users will be regular social network users in 2011. The highest penetration level of all age groups will remain in the 18-to-24 age group, where 90% of internet users will use social networks this year.

“In 2011, social networks will need to cement their relationships with their users, particularly people ages 35 and older, in order to keep them engaged,” said Williamson. “Marketers and media companies can contribute to this effort by creating compelling user experiences that make people want to stay connected to social networks so they can gain access to experiences, deals or content they may not be able to find anywhere else.”

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Google, Facebook Users Skew Young, Affluent, and Educated


 Google, Facebook Users Skew Young, Affluent, and EducatedBoth Google and Facebook attract young, affluent, and educated Americans in large numbers, according to results of a new USA Today/Gallup poll. Each counts more than half of those under 50, those with college degrees, and those making more than $90,000 a year among their users.

Gallup data indicates men (42%) are about as likely as women (45%) to have a Facebook page. However, men (63%) are 12.5% more likely than women (56%) to say they visit Google in a given week. Overall, 40% more US adults say they use Google in a typical week (60%) than have a Facebook page (43%).

However, as mentioned above, both sites have substantially higher usage rates with younger, wealthier and educated Americans. For example, among 18-to-29-year-olds, 83% use Google in a typical week and 73% have a Facebook page. Those respective figures drop to 34% and 17% among Americans age 65 and older.

Similar trends can be observed when looking at disparities in income and education. Among Americans earning $90,000 or more annually, 85% use Google in a typical week and 55% have a Facebook page. Those respective figures are 56% and 41% for Americans earning less than $90,000 annually.

Usage rates among postgraduates (87% for Google and 53% for Facebook) and college graduates (85% and 58%, respectively) do not greatly differ. However, among those with a high school degree or less, the respective figures drop to 35% and 28%.

All Demographics More Likely to Use Google

Currently, US adults in all key demographic groups are more likely to visit Google in a given week than to say they have a Facebook page. Google attracts a significantly larger share of college graduates, postgraduates, and those making at least $90,000 per year. Both sites have yet to reach a majority of those with a high school education or less, or those who are at least 65 years old.

 Google, Facebook Users Skew Young, Affluent, and EducatedThe majority of users of both sites say they are very or somewhat concerned about invasion of privacy and internet viruses, and about half are concerned about spam e-mail. Facebook users about 20% more likely than Google users to say they are concerned about invasion of privacy and internet viruses, and about 10% more likely to say they are concerned about spam.

Gallup data indicates older and less affluent users of these sites are in some cases more concerned about these issues than other groups, but Gallup says the patterns are not uniform and because of small sample sizes, the results by group are too small to report.

Social networking category leader Facebook continued its momentum as it amassed millions of new users and people spent more and more of their time on the site, according to a new white paper from comScore. “The 2010 US Digital Year in Review” indicates that Facebook accounted for 10% of US page views in 2010, while three out of every 10 US internet sessions included a visit to the site.

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2 in 3 Web Users Pay for Content


pew online content payments jan11 thumb 2 in 3 Web Users Pay for ContentNearly two-thirds of internet users (65%) have paid to download or access some kind of online content from the internet, according to new data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Music, software, and apps are the most popular content that internet users have paid to access or download. The online content assessed by Pew includes only “intangible” digital products such as software, articles and music that need not have a physical form.

Of those internet users who have purchased online content, nearly half (46%) have purchased only one or two of the types of content covered in the survey (see below). Some 16% have purchased six or more types of content.

In addition, 15% of users who have purchased online content have purchased three types, while slightly more have purchased five types (12%) than four types (11%).

pew online content types jan11.thumbnail 2 in 3 Web Users Pay for ContentConcerning methods of accessing online content, the majority of the internet users pay for subscription services (23%), as opposed to downloading an individual file (16%), or accessing streaming content (8%). As shown in the accompanying chart, most internet users who have accessed online content have utilized only one method of access and payment (66%). No respondent has used more than three methods.

Pew findings show that:

33% of internet users have paid for digital music online. 33% have paid for software. 21% have paid for apps for their cell phones or tablet computers. 19% have paid for digital games. 18% have paid for digital newspaper, magazine or journal articles or reports. 16% have paid for videos, movies or TV shows. 15% have paid for ringtones. 12% have paid for digital photos. 11% have paid for members-only premium content from a website that has other free material on it. 10% have paid for e-books. 7% have paid for podcasts. 5% have paid for tools or materials to use in video or computer games. 5% have paid for “cheats or codes” to help them in video games. 5% have paid to access particular websites such as online dating sites or services. 2% have paid for adult content.

And 6% of internet users said they had paid for another kind of content not mentioned in the list of 15 the survey offered.

The average expense for those who have paid for content was approximately $47 per month for material downloaded or accessed, including both subscriptions (an average of $12 per month) and individual file access (an average of $22 per month). However, some extremely high-end users push the average higher, with most purchasers spending about $10 per month.

Of the 82% of US adults today who are cell phone users, 43% have software applications on their phones, according to another recent survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

When taken as a portion of the entire US adult population, the previous figure equates to 35% who have a cell phone with apps. This figure includes adult cell phone users who have downloaded an app to their phone (29% of adult cell phone users) and have purchased a phone with preloaded apps (38% of adult cell phone users).

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Traditional Media Users Skew Older


Traditional Media thumb Traditional Media Users Skew OlderConsumers of traditional media sources such as print and TV tend to be older than online media consumers, according to results of a new 24/7 Wall St./Harris Poll conducted by Harris Interactive.

55-plus See Most Need for Traditional Media
Overall, 81% of survey respondents said although printed news will continue to decline, there will always be a need for news in print. However, this figures is highest (87%) among respondents older than 55 and lowest (76%) among respondents 18-34 and 35-44.
More telling is the fact that while 67% of overall respondents still prefer to get their news from traditional sources, this figure jumps to 81% for 55-plus and drops to only 57% for 18-34.

harris news opinions oct 2010 thumb Traditional Media Users Skew Older

Conversely, 50% of 18-to-34-year-olds tend to get almost all of their news online, compared to only 33% of those 55 and older.

Older Consumers Visit Traditional News Sources More Often
For all forms of traditional news media, older consumers are more likely to visit either all the time or occasionally than younger consumers, with the widest discrepancy existing between the oldest and youngest consumers.

harris news frequency oct 2010 thumb Traditional Media Users Skew Older

For example, while 76% of overall respondents at least occasionally consume local TV news, this figure is 88% of 55-plus but only 63% of 18-34. Similar trends can be observed for local newspapers and network TV news. The discrepancy narrows a bit for cable TV news (60% overall, 67% of 55-plus, 51% of 18-34).

There is a milder reverse discrepancy when looking at usage of new news media sources. The widest difference exists in consumption of websites for national newspapers (36% overall, 40% of 18-34, 30% of 55-plus).

Older Consumers Increase Time with TV News
Consumers age 55 and older are more likely to have increased the time they spend watching cable TV news and network TV news in the past year than consumers 18-34 (rates of 22% and 17% compared to rates of 13% and 12%, respectively).

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However, in addition to the expected higher rates of increasing consumption of new media such as visiting online news and information sites among younger consumers (29% of 18-34 compared to 22% of 55-plus), younger consumers are also more likely to have increased consumption of many traditional media, such as radio (24% of 18-34 compared to 13% of 55-plus).

Internet Dominates Young Adult Media Time
American young adults spend more time online than consuming other forms of media, according to a new study from Edison Research. “Radio’s Future II: The 2010 American Youth Study” indicates that during an average day, Americans age 12-24 spend two hours and 52 minutes on the internet, making the web the media format American young adults spend the most time consuming. Television closely follows with a daily average of two hours and 47 minutes.

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