While 99 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds have profiles on social networks, only 22 percent use Twitter, according to a new survey from Pace University and the Participatory Media Network.
This is consistent with what some observers have said about Twitter's recent push from early-adopter territory into the mainstream: that it's catching on with a slightly older demographic than the teenagers and college students who formed Facebook's initial core.
But of those young people using Twitter, the survey found that 85 percent of them follow friends, 54 percent follow celebrities, 29 percent follow family members, and 29 percent follow companies--not stellar news for the brands and marketers that have flocked to Twitter as the latest "conversational" destination.
Still, the survey organizers put a positive spin on it.
"Twitter dominates the news, but clearly we're only touching the surface of its potential as a marketing vehicle," Participatory Media Network co-founder and chairman Michael Della Penna said in a release. "This is a classic 'glass half full' scenario for Twitter because it's clear that Gen Y has an appetite for social networking, but still hasn't fully embraced micro-blogging. There is a tremendous opportunity now for marketers to develop strategies to get this important group active on Twitter too."
Here's what is everywhere: social-network developer applications. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed by Pace and the Participatory Media Network say they have installed apps on their social-network profiles.