Study: Twitter users young, wireless, on other social sites

Pew research shows that not only do Twitter users update their statuses more than ever, but they're young, love Wi-Fi, and befriend you on Facebook.

A new study released on Wednesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project has found some rather interesting tidbits of information about social network users.

According to the study, 19 percent of Web surfers use "Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others." According to the organization, its earlier findings in April 2009 found that just 11 percent of Internet users were using a status-update service.

But the reason why there has been such an uptick in status updates has much to do with the users themselves, Pew found. According to the organization, the growth is being driven by "social network Web site users, those who connect to the Internet via mobile devices, and younger Internet users--those under age 44."

The study found that 33 percent of those who are updating their status range in age between 18 and 29. Those aged between 30 and 49 make up 22 percent of the group. Just 13 percent of those who update their status are 50 years of age or older.

Pew determined that the Twitter user's median age is 31. MySpace's median age is now 26, down from 27 in May 2008. LinkedIn has also gotten younger by a year, featuring a median age of 39. But Facebook is one of the few social networks to buck the youth trend, upping its median age to 33, from 26 in May 2008.

Social fanatics
Whether or not a user is on other social networks also determines their willingness to use a service like Twitter. According to the study, 35 percent of those who have profiles on MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn also have profiles on Twitter. The study also found that just 6 percent of those who don't use other social networks are on Twitter.

Pew believes that there might be a correlation between the way users connect to the Web and use of sites that allow them to update their status. According to its research, 54 percent of Web users have a wireless connection to the Web. Of that group, 25 percent use Twitter or another status-update service. That said, only 8 percent of users who "rely exclusively on tethered access use Twitter or another service."

Pew found that "wireless access is an independent factor in predicting whether someone uses Twitter or another status update service. It is not simply because this group is likely to be young or tech-savvy." According to the research organization, users who connect to the Web via wireless connection are "significantly more likely to tweet."

More devices mean more tweeting
But the research group didn't stop there. The organization found that the more Web-connected devices a user has, the more likely they are to tweet.

"Fully 39 percent of Internet users with four or more Internet-connected devices (such as a laptop, cell phone, game console, or Kindle) use Twitter, compared to 28 percent of Internet users with three devices, 19 percent of Internet users with two devices, and 10 percent of Internet users with one device," the company wrote in its report.

How do you fit into Pew's research? Do you fall in the categories it mentions in its report? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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