aug 25

Twitter is for The Olds

I was waiting for someone to write about how Twitter isn't popular among the kids. (The 18-year-old who sounds like a 68-year-old -- "I just think it's weird and I don't feel like everyone needs to know what I'm doing every second of my life" -- has 11 followers.)


So I mentioned this in the context of fundraising and volunteer efforts in San Francisco and California electioneering in an article for the SF Appeal a few months back. To update, Gavin Newsom has about a dollar in the bank per Twitter follower for his gubernatorial campaign, and is behind in fundraising likely competitor Jerry Brown by a factor of seven. The former campaign manager has resigned, and Newsom has brought on a machine political fixer to replace him.

I chatted with my high school sophomore cousin over the summer who has a MySpace page, doesn't spend much time on Facebook, and has no interest in Twitter. But I imagine she will when she heads to college, where she'll likely have to move and leave behind local friends (after all, that's when I finally got hooked on email, having had access in theory for years before that through BBSs).

posted by Jackson West at 4:11 AM on August 26, 2009

I agree, somehow. Most of the kids want something else than just micro-blogging-- whether it's games, surveys/quizzes, embedded videos, etc. Twitter is useful, but it's mostly for those who are busy and have jobs. It's a quick way to update everyone about your life. Kids who still have too much time on their hands like Facebook better because Facebook has everything.

posted by VHwriter at 5:12 AM on August 26, 2009

Two of the most popular news threads about Twitter of late include:
1) Twitter is 40% pointless babble: of course, person-to-person conversation is more like 60% pointless babble.

2) Teens don't like Twitter: Why would they? Twitter has morphed into a service that allows people to share thoughts, information, bounce ideas off of others, and show expertise. Why would anyone think a teenager would use this? It's of virtually no benefit to the average teenager. This meme of coverage would be like a bunch of medical reporters announcing that teenagers find statin drugs to be "a total waste!" No kidding.

posted by Jason DeRusha at 9:05 AM on August 26, 2009

Ironic. Teenagers don't use Twitter, and yet they're all a bunch of "followers."

posted by Barrett Chase at 10:46 AM on August 26, 2009

I've guess most teen are not fund in using Twitter, they prefer to have Facebook or MySpace account. Twitter is a very good tool when you're having an online business. It's a best way to promote the product and services that you've been offering.

posted by Nicole Swift at 1:31 PM on August 26, 2009

I think most teenagers have a very small circle that they communicate with. Also generally they are in the same geographical area.

With aging your group of friends both grows and slowly spins apart and services such as twitter and facebook start to become a more vital tool for communication. At some point you simply cannot afford the resources of keeping in direct contact. So you pick and choose; some close friends get the "check in" text/email or phonecall, all others get the less resource intensive passive interaction of social networking.

SMS is a much better tool if your network of friends is tighter. One person texts the other, than they forward the text or physically show the other. Boom your done. Hell I remember when I was a kid, a pager was the only social network I had.

Another reason for Twitters insignificance among teens I'd guess is that SMS communication doesn't require a smartphone or a data plan for an always on connection. I could send you a direct message on twitter and hope you check in with twitter, or I could send a text and instantly know that you got it. Finally I would guess some parents are willing to get their kid a cell but aren't throwing down for the $30 a month data plan and iphone.

posted by ryanol at 4:48 PM on August 26, 2009

make that 12 followers

posted by guy at 5:01 PM on August 26, 2009

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