A recent study by comScore provides new insights for federal agencies into how different generations are using social networking sites. Most notably, the study suggests that Twitter use is up significantly among the younger generation. For example, use of the microblogging Web site from December 2008 to December 2009 was up 6.2 percent among those under age 18, and up 7.9 percent among 18 to 24-year-olds, the study found.
"The initial success of Twitter was largely driven by users in the 25-54-year-old age segment, which made up 65 percent of all visitors to the site in December 2008, with 18-24 year olds accounting for just 9 percent of visitors," the study states. "This older age skew varied dramatically from the traditional social media early adopter model, in which younger users tend to drive the lion's share of usage."
The survey also found that social networking overall continued to gain momentum in 2009, with nearly four out of five Internet users visiting a social networking site in December 2009. Facebook remained the most popular social networking site, finishing the year with 112 million visitors, up 105 percent during the year. The largest demographic shift on Facebook during 2009 occurred with 25 to 34 year olds, who now account for 23 percent of the audience, up from 18.8 percent in 2008, while use among those under age 24 dropped from 32.3 percent in 2008 to 26.8 percent in 2009. Use of Facebook among those older than 35 remained relatively unchanged, the study found.
Obviously, use of social media among all age groups is exploding, and as NextGov reported on Friday, agencies like the Defense Department are taking notice. What do these new statistics mean for your federal agency?