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Social networking teens survey

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday February 22, 2007 )

A survey of 935 teenagers aged 12 to 17 performed in November last year shows that 55% of this demographic have created a social network profile and nearly half visit social network sites daily.

The Pew Internet survey also shows that the social networking service they visit most is MySpace (85%).

Other key findings:

– Nearly two thirds of of teens limit access to their profile

– Girls in the 15-17 age bracket are the most likely to have created a social networking profile compared to boys in the same bracket. (70% vs 57%)

– Girls (89%) are more likely than boys (79%) to post comments to a profile

– Girls tend to use social networking sites to maintain current friendships, wheras boys use them to seek new friends and to flirt.

– School is a popular location to access social networks from. Tch tch :).

Read more of the Pew Social Networking survey report. (PDF)

The frequency that teens access social networking sites was the most interesting point for me. It underlines the fact that social networking isn’t just a trendy thing to do or losing any of its appeal; it’s becoming increasingly a vital part of a teen’s life.

When you think about it, it’s a very heavy responsibility that especially MySpace carries. They are the gatekeepers of a generation. Many of these kids are in the midst of the most turbulent part of their lives. Millions of dreams, crushes, aspirations, fears and expressions of self are stored on MySpace. It’s mind boggling to think of the human emotion and energy that’s been digitally encoded out there and entrusted to MySpace to store.

In my forays into MySpace over the last 10 months or so, I’ve been surprised at the number of young people who want to add me as a friend or they go to the trouble of emailing me. My age doesn’t seem to matter to them, which is kind of nice. I don’t have to try and be cool, lie about my age or be hip or trendy; I’m just one of the community.

As I’ve said repeatedly, if you run an online business, it would really pay to set up a profile if you haven’t already; even if your market isn’t teens. There’s lots of old fogeys like myself out there and I’d be happy to add you as a friend:). See where it takes you; post up your views and news from your business; promote your special offers – it may just turn into a valuable sales tool. It’s a minimum investment of time for possibly a very good return.

If you do set up a profile, aside from promoting it by mentioning it on your site and email communications, an important thing to do is to personalize it; even if it’s just a few simple layout changes. This helps identifies you as a real person, rather than one of the many spam profiles out there.

You can use our free MySpace layout generator to do so; it’s very easy to use.

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