Why Teens Haven't Embraced Twitter…Yet
- January 28th, 2009
- 25 Comments
At CES I had an audience member ask, “Are teens on Twitter?”. A reporter asked me the same question the other day, so I figured I would elaborate on a similar post I did awhile back. While Twitter is definitely becoming integrated into our pop culture parlance—I still don’t think teens are embracing it en masse. Graham Brown from Mobile Youth had a stat claiming, “Under 25s now constitute 25% of twitter usage - the largest single age group.” If Twitter has about 6 million users, than that would be 1.5 million under 25 globally. But I wonder what percentage of that number is 13-17 vs. 18-25—I would guess that it’s still fairly low.
As long as teens can update their status via MySpace and Facebook for their friends as well as IM and text, Twitter doesn’t really add to the existing technology. In a column over at AdAge.com about why Millennials haven’t completely embraced Twitter, Kelly Eidson explains, “Millennials are already married to other platforms: We use Facebook to keep in touch with our friends, and LinkedIn to store professional contacts.” Still, even her argument about why her peers should use Twitter is more applicable to professionals working in her field than to teenagers.
That said, here is where I think Twitter is catching on with teens—following entertainment brands or celebrities and musicians. I was listening to the local rock station here in San Francisco yesterday, Live 105, when one of the DJs invited listeners to follow him on Twitter where he would give them the heads up before each ticket give away. If you’re a music fan, that’s a reason to follow. After that promotion another DJ read today’s music news leading off with an announcement Coldplay made…via Twitter. You could see how other brands could entice teens to follow them with a similar - be the first to know [or get] - message. Immediacy - what Twitter is great for. Teens who get personal branding and are deliberately trying to promote themselves as musicians, entrepreneurs, etc. (see Daniel Brusilovsky) as are teens who consider themselves techies/early adopters. Still, this is not the majority of teens or the “friendship-driven” teens who are already connected 24/7 elsewhere.