Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Pew Internet & American Life Project’.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

This week we’re kicking off what we plan to make a semi-regular feature for your Monday afternoons on the We Are Social blog. A quick round up of research, news and case studies that caught our eye over the last week and we thought were worth sharing.

Social Media: The Next Great Gateway for Content Discovery?
New research released from Nielsen suggests that social media is starting to become the primary vehicle for content discovery:

We continue to see that social media has not only changed the way consumers communicate and gather on the Web, but also impacted content discovery and navigation in a big way. But how? …In a nutshell, there is a segment of the online population that uses social media as a core navigation and information discovery tool — roughly 18 percent of users see it as core to finding new information. While still a smaller percentage than those who use search engines or portals like Yahoo! or MSN, it is a significant figure.

Nielsen - content_start - blog

Socializers’ (i.e. those who spend 10 percent or more of their online time on social media) cite too much information on the web as one of the main reasons why they turn social media in order to hunt for information.

The study found that these socializers actually use social media as a filtration tool, trusting recommendations and content from their friends and family to wade through the sheer volume of information out there.

Marta Strickland asks some interesting questions about the research which are well worth reading.

How should Neal’s Yard Remedies have responded to comments?
PR Week revisited the Neil’s Yard debacle from May, where an explosion of critical comments for the company on the Guardian’s ‘You Ask They Answer’ series were left unanswered when critics began to grill the company on its homeopathic remedy, and not ‘organic skincare’ as they believed.

Is it realistic to expect to be able to put boundaries around online discussion? Should Neal’s Yard have never taken part in the first place?

As Facebook Ages, Gen Y Turns to Twitter
Recent findings from the latest report from the Pew Internet and Internet Life Project demonstrated that the median age of users across several social networks has been changing over the last year:

Today, Twitter is now the second-youngest of the top four social networking sites. Its median age is 31. MySpace’s is 26, LinkedIn is 39, and… Facebook is 33.

Despite past reports to the contrary, Generation Y now also appears to be moving to Twitter in great number. In fact they’ve more than double their numbers: “37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008.”

PEW - youth on twitter chart

Twitter – Retweet Limited Rollout
Last week, Twitter announced that they have activated the retweet button on a small number of accounts. Though its long been possible to retweet posts using third party applications such as Tweetdeck, it hasn’t been possible to forward particularly interesting tweets to your followers through the web interface. According to Twitter:

The plan is to see how it goes first with this small release. If it needs more work, then we’ll know right away. If things look good, we’ll proceed with releasing the feature in stages eventually arriving at 100%.

This move is another step by Twitter, who a just over a weeks ago released their ‘Lists’ feature, to improving the web interface in order to make things easier and more efficient for users.

FEED: The 2009 Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report
Razorfish published their Digital Brand Experience Report today, which surveyed 1,000 ‘connected consumers’ about how the web affected the way they engage with brands and make buying decisions. As you might expect, the research revealed that digital technology is indeed altering consumer attitudes. Some key findings:

  • Consumers are largely engaging with brands to receive exclusive promotions or discounts and of those who follow a brand on Twitter, 44% say that access to good deals is the main reason.
  • 65% of consumers say a digital experience, either positive or negative, changed their opinion of a brand. And in that group, almost all (97%) indicated their experience influenced whether or not they eventually purchased that brand.
  • People who actively engage with a brand digitally–from participating in a contest to downloading a mobile application–are substantially more inclined to purchase and recommend that brand to others.

The full PDF is available for download, along with a pack of charts.

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How teenagers really consume media

by Adam Bernstein in News

With all the talk of teenagers’ online habits in the news, we got our most knowledgeable man in to blog on the matter. 17 year old Adam Bernstein is an A-level student currently on work experience with We Are Social, and here are his thoughts.

It’s been the buzz of the social media sphere this week: how Matthew Robson, a 15 year-old intern at Morgan Stanley, had written a report which had shocked and dazzled city bosses in equal measure.

The trouble is, as another teenager – admittedly a slightly older one – Robson’s arguments do not hold true. There is much value in Robson’s report – it does provide an interesting insight into how one particular teenager consumes media. But there is a danger in taking isolated examples and extrapolating them to be indicative of society.

Robson’s report is supposed to be focussed on the teen market, yet too often he ignores important economic & social factors. For example, the argument that teenagers don’t buy newspapers because they’re too expensive is an interesting one. But this argument is based on one assumption which underscores Robson’s entire report: teenagers are independent of their parents. But this simply isn’t the case – most people I know who do read a newspaper read it because it’s in the house. Teenagers probably wouldn’t pay 80p a day for a newspaper but it’s not an issue because in many cases they don’t have to.

If Robson wanted to know the real reason teenagers don’t read newspapers, it is more about content. Teenagers will consistently have their lifestyle treated with derision in the papers; but how often will a viable alternative be offered? With the continual damning of teens in the papers, it’s no wonder teenagers don’t read them.

But it was Robson’s claims about Twitter which were the most ignorant: “Twitter is pointless to teens” screamed the headlines. It’s true to say that teens (on the whole) don’t use Twitter but his fixation on the costs of texting missed a crucial point: only 5% of Tweets are made via SMS – the success of applications such as Tweetdeck and Twitterfox show how it is really used.

The reality is that teens don’t use Twitter because of demographics: to make a broad – and somewhat unfair – generalisation, teenagers use Facebook, whereas Twitter is used by older people. Essentially, teens follow other teens so it’s inevitable that most of the age-group stays away from Twitter. Twitter’s relevance to the younger market is diminished because many perceive a ‘tweet’ as being the same as a Facebook Status Update – they don’t see the need for both.

Robson’s report is useful for the many truths it does contain: Teenagers doing all they can to avoid advertising is an important point which the ad companies will be trying hard to counteract. But Robson’s suggestion that teenagers are motivated above all by cost is a spurious one: teenage consumption of media probably does have something to do with money; but most teens don’t have a full-time job, many are in full-time education and are supported by their parents – it is they who pay for everything so his argument that costs are the most important thing to teens is wrong.

But, as Suw Charman-Anderson notes, the main problem with Robson’s report is that he thinks his experiences are emblematic of teenagers as a whole. The reality is that there is much greater diversity in the teen market than Robson suggests. Teenagers are an eclectic bunch – and Robson would do well to remember this.

Update: I’ve just come across an interesting report by Forrester about this exact topic (for those interested in US rather than UK data, there’s also a good presentation from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Nielsen’s recent How Teens Use Media report). Robson’s argument that all teenagers are always listening to music, particularly free online music, is kicked into touch:

With its findings suggesting socio-economic factors are unimportant in how teenagers consume media, Robson’s arguments that costs are the primary factor in deciding what teens do is shown to be false.

But what is most interesting for companies is that teenagers are using social media for the same reasons as the population as a whole. Possibly this means they don’t need tailored advertising; more probably, it means that in time teenagers will drift over to Twitter – Facebook was originally intended for Harvard University students yet is now used worldwide.

Having said all of this, the accuracy of the report does have to be considered – speaking to 261 13-19 year olds and making assumptions that this data covers society as a whole is questionable. But at least it’s more accurate than Robson’s report which was simply the findings of one person.

Update 2: Dubit have also added some stats into the mix with their How UK Youth Really Consume Media Report: Newspapers & Magazines and Twitter

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