Do Teenagers Really Not Use Twitter?

The blogosphere is all abuzz in the wake of a Morgan Stanley report written by a 15-year-old intern, Matthew Robson, that suggests, among other things, that “teenagers do not use Twitter” because they would rather use their credits sending text messages to friends.

The report caught the attention and imagination of a large number of news organizations, which reacted like Robson had finally revealed the long-sought insight into how teenagers use technology. But as Mashable’s Ben Parr succinctly noted the flaw in Robson’s well-written report is it’s based on anecdotal evidence as opposed to facts.

“While it’s easy to get swept up in the fact that a 15 year old wrote such a thoughtful report, we cannot lose sight that this is one analysis, and it is one without hard facts to back it up,” Parr wrote.

In Sysomos’ recently published “Inside Twitter” report, one of the areas we explored was the demographic make-up of Twitter users. We discovered that of the 0.7% of users who disclosed their age within a Twitter profile, 65% of them are under 25-years-old. (Note: Sysomos indexed 11.4 million Twitter profiles to create the report)

Twitter Age
Robson’s contention that teenagers aren’t using Twitter may, in fact, be true. But it is clearly difficult to accurately assess the demographic make-up of Twitter users without major statistics. Until this kind of information can be determined, Sysomos’ Inside Twitter report provides one of the best snapshots of Twitter demographics.

For more thoughts on Robson’s report, check out TechCrunch had a 16-year-old, Daniel Brusilovsky, write a post on why teenagers aren’t using Twitter. He contends teenagers prefer Facebook because it’s a closed network, which makes them feel it’s safer than Twitter. He also says Twitter is more expensive than Facebook.

2 Comments on “Do Teenagers Really Not Use Twitter?”

  1. Pingback: Free Rise » Blog Archive » Teen marketing, or What your Facebook friends aren’t telling you about the world

  2. Quantcast thinks the opposite. 12-17 year olds comprise 7% of Twitters users vs 26% for Facebook. That seems more reasonable to me and supports the Morgan Stanley analysis.

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