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One In Five Gen Yers Use Twitter: Study

By Jun 02, 2009

Is Twitter, the much-ballyhooed series of 140-character microposts, the best way to reach Generation Y, the old teenagers and young adults just starting to collect their first paychecks? Maybe not. According to a new study, only 22% of them are using Twitter, compared with 99% who have an active profile on at least one social networking site.

And those using Twitter aren’t necessarily doing so to get corporate or advertising information. According to findings from the Participatory Marketing Network, of the one-fifth or so using twitter, most (85%) follow friends, while just over half (54%) use it to track celebrities. Another 29% use it to keep abreast of their families – roughly the same percentage who follow companies.

“Twitter dominates the news, but clearly we’re only touching the surface of its potential as a marketing vehicle,” said Michael Della Penna, the PMN’s co-founder and executive chairman, in a statement. “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.”

According to the PMN’s study of 200 of its panel members and consumers between the ages of 18 and 24:

89% have downloaded an application to their profile page;

On social network sites, photos (89%), games (53%), entertainment (51%), news (32%) and weather (29%) are the most popular applications;

38% have an iPhone or iPod Touch. On these devices, the most popular mobile applications include games (53%); entertainment (35%); lifestyle (31%); financial – “free” (28%); financial “paid” (7%).