Status Quo?

Back in April, 2009, 11% of internet users reported using status updates (Twitter or other service).  Now it’s being reported by Pew Internet and American Life Project, that the 11% has since become 19%.  That’s a gigantic increase in less than a year, and one that only further supports Twitter as an internet mainstay.

pew-status-updates

According to Pew:

Three groups of internet users are mainly responsible for driving the growth of this activity: social network website users, those who connect to the internet via mobile devices, and younger internet users – those under age 44.

In addition, the more devices someone owns, the more likely they are to use Twitter or another service to update their status. Fully 39% 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% of internet users with three devices, 19% of internet users with two devices, and 10% of internet users with one device.

The median age of a Twitter user is 31, which has remained stable over the past year. The median age for MySpace is now 26, down from 27 in May 2008, and the median age for LinkedIn is now 39, down from 40. Facebook, however, is graying a bit: the median age for this social network site is now 33, up from 26 in May 2008.

Pew notes that this increase is likely to stay, as more internet users flock to mobile devices as a primary means of accessing the internet.

As of September 2009, 54% of internet users have a wireless connection to the internet via a laptop, cell phone, game console, or other mobile device. Of those, 25% use Twitter or another service, up from 14% of wireless users in December 2008.  By comparison, 8% of internet users who rely exclusively on tethered access use Twitter or another service, up from 6% in December 2008.

Statistical analysis also shows 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.  Owning and using a wireless internet device makes an internet user significantly more likely to tweet.

All of this info leads to a single conclusion: social media isn’t going anywhere.  New platforms will come and go, but socializing over the internet is here to stay.  It was always inevitable.  And I will note, it’s also very refreshing.  Older generations have opined that advancements in technology have led to people becoming less socially active as they disappear to their PC’s.  But lately that is quite the opposite.  People are actually becoming more social.  Because now, instead of leaving the company of others, people are continuing that social dialogue on their mobile devices and then on their computers when they get home.  People are becoming submersed in social activity virtually whenever they are awake (at least 19% of people are, but that’s growing rapidly).  This is a good thing.  It’s bringing people together when they’d otherwise be separated.  Status updates are the bridge between connecting socially in person and connecting socially online.  There is no longer downtime.  So what you have now is this: status updates are becoming status quo.

Click here for the full Pew report.

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~ by danjsilver on October 21, 2009.

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