Ypulse Research Roundup: Millennials' Online Sharing Habit, What's In Their Backpack? & More

Today we bring you another installment of the latest youth research available for sale or download. Remember, if your company has comprehensive research for sale that focuses on youth between the ages of 8 and 24, email me to be included in the next Roundup.

Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content
Little of the work on online credibility assessment has considered how the information-seeking process figures into the final evaluation of content people encounter. This study found that the process by which users arrive at a site is an important component of how they judge the final destination. In particular, search context, branding and routines, and a reliance on those in one’s networks play important roles in online information-seeking and evaluation. Also discussed is the fact that users differ considerably in their skills when it comes to judging online content credibility. The study’s methodology uncovered a crucial part of the puzzle of online credibility assessment: the important role that search context plays in what content many users deem trustworthy. That is, rather than simply evaluating content based on the features of the destination Web site, users put considerable trust in the online equivalent of traditional gatekeepers: search engines. Users exhibit a great amount of trust in these tools, independent of whether they lead to the most relevant content. Cost: Free

For more… read the full study at Scribd.

College Back-to-School Spending Rises
The college cohort (the vast majority between 18-34) wield formidable spending power, projected to increase 13% from $270 billion in 2009 to $306 billion this year. Within this figure, discretionary spending is set to increase 10% from $62.7 billion to $69 billion, making college consumers an even more desirable demographic for marketers. The new spending is going to categories such as automotive, entertainment, personal-care products and technology, with the exception of cell phones/PDAs, where spending is stagnant. In keeping with well-established patterns, male students are more likely to direct discretionary spending to entertainment and technology, while female students take the lead in clothing, shoes, cosmetics and cell phones. Of note: male students are now spending slightly more than female students on personal-care products, according to Alloy.

For more… go to alloymarketing.com.

Facebook Privacy Settings: Who Cares?
New research released today from Eszter Hargittai and danah boyd shows that instead of disregarding privacy, youth have increasingly modified their privacy settings on Facebook over the last year. The age of privacy over, indeed. These results challenge widespread assumptions that youth do not care about and are not engaged with navigating privacy. This study found that, while not universal, modifications to privacy settings have increased during a year in which Facebook’s approach to privacy was hotly contested. It also found that both frequency and type of Facebook use as well as Internet skill are correlated with making modifications to privacy settings. Cost: Free

For more, read the full study on the University of Illinois at Chicago’s website.

Millennials will make online sharing in networks a lifelong habit

Tech experts generally believe that today’s tech-savvy young people – the ‘digital natives’ who are known for enthusiastically embracing social networking – will retain their willingness to share personal information online even as they get older and take on more responsibilities. Experts surveyed say that the advantages Millennials see in personal disclosure will outweigh their concerns about their privacy. Some 67% agreed with the statement: “By 2020, members of Generation Y (today’s “digital natives”) will continue to be ambient broadcasters who disclose a great deal of personal information in order to stay connected and take advantage of social, economic, and political opportunities. Even as they mature, have families, and take on more significant responsibilities, their enthusiasm for widespread information sharing will carry forward.”

Most of those surveyed noted that the disclosure of personal information online carries many social benefits as people open up to others in order to build friendships, form and find communities, seek help, and build their reputations. They said Millennials have already seen the benefits and will not reduce their use of these social tools over the next decade as they take on more responsibilities while growing older. The majority argued in answers to the survey that new social norms that reward disclosure are already in place among the young. The experts also expressed hope that society will be more forgiving of those whose youthful mistakes are on display in social media such as Facebook picture albums or YouTube videos. Cost: Free

For more, download or read the full study online at Pew Internet.

Millennials, Inc.
The study, Millennial Inc, is the core findings and implications of a six-month long global research study conducted in partnership by Mr Youth and Intrepid that explores Millennials’ approach to business. Essentially, it’s what a company will look like when Millennials call the shots! The study took place over a six-month period that completed in April 2010. Focusing on the US and UK, the study included digital ethnography,  creation of virtual businesses, and quantitative surveys. Using a three-tiered approach, the study explored and identified  key themes that Millennials embraced across major areas of any business. These include collaboratively-led enterprise, a stimulating work environment, an idea-powered culture, eco-friendly products, interactive and peer-to-peer-influenced marketing. The study also outlines ten core principles that successful businesses should adhere to as they evolve to become more like Millennial Inc. These include enabling open collaboration across the organization; valuing ideas over experience; fostering advocacy; and integrating responsibility into the core of the business. Cost: Free

For more… visit www.millennialinc.com.


Teen Social Media Influencers Wield Power Online and Offline

A recent survey by myYearbook and Ketchum of teen social media users illustrated a number of trends about internet use among the web’s most influential teens—findings include the fact that they socialize offline more than average teens, and would rather not be friends with parents online. “Online Influencers” are more likely than the average teen to participate in social media activities by updating their status at least once per day or sending 3,000 texts per month and spending more time socializing and influencing their peers offline. The study surveyed 10,000 teens, aged 13 to 19, who are members of myYearbook, and identified teen influencers in the social media space to provide insight on how they share information and interact online. Social media teen Influencers are defined as the top 15% most active and most engaged teens in the myYearbook community. A teen’s social media popularity translates offline, as teen social media Influencers are 40% more likely to have attended a party over the last weekend than average teens. They also are 20% more likely to have had a friend visit them at home in the last week. These Influencers are also more active than the average teen offline in terms of listening to music, playing video games, and reading books, newspapers, and magazines.

From movie tickets to mobile devices, this group is also wielding more purchasing power than the average teen — and they want to evangelize their purchases. In fact, 87 percent of teen social media influencers share information on the products they use with their friends, compared to only 50 percent of teens in general. Across age brackets, these influencers look to recommendations from friends and peers as their most trusted source. When it comes to purchasing a product, 52 percent of teen social media influencers trust their friends’ recommendations most,  compared to 9 percent who would most trust an adult. Cost: Free

For more… see the Ketchum Newsroom.

What’s In Your Backpack
For students and retailers alike, August marks the official start of Back-to-School season: A time to prep and be prepped for the school year to come. Throwing down the first chunk of the roughly $120 billion that students spend annually in disposable income, high school and college students (with the occasional parent in tow) make the pilgrimage to gear up for the year ahead. We were inspired to conduct the first-ever “netnographic dig” of the vital vessel that also serves as a walking fashion statement (or understatement as the case may be) for teens and twenty-somethings in school. We audited the contents of 1,113 backpacks, carried by current U.S. college and high school students within a nationally representative sample of college students, balanced by gender, class year, state and race. What we learned was enlightening. Cost: $2,000

For more… go to Ypulse Research.

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