Archive for February, 2010

Survey: Teens hate blogging, don’t use Twitter, but nearly all of them are online

February 4th, 2010

According to a study released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the Internet has become an indispensable part of life for teens and young adults in the U.S. More specifically, 93% of teens ages 12-17 and 93% of young adults ages 18-29 go online.

The study also revealed some interesting stats among bloggers, indicating a decline in blogging among teens and young adults, but a slight rise in blogging among people over the age of 30.

Wireless use is up for those under 30, along with social networking usage. Teens younger than 18 years of age are not on Twitter in large numbers but of those who are, high school girls are most likely to use the app. I’m reprinting some of the key stats I found interesting here:


  • Youth may be exchanging ‘macro-blogging’ for microblogging with status updates.
  • Blogging has declined in popularity among both teens and young adults since 2006. Blog commenting has also dropped among teens.
  • Since 2005, studies have consistently found that roughly one in 10 online adults maintain a personal online journal or blog.
  • A sharp decline in blogging by young adults has been tempered by a corresponding increase in blogging among older adults.
Social networking:
  • Both teen and adult use of social networking sites has risen significantly, yet there are shifts and some drops in the proportion of teens using several social networking site features.
  • 73% of wired American teens now use social networking websites, a significant increase from previous surveys. Just over half of online teens (55%) used social networking sites in November 2006 and 65% did so in February 2008.
  • 47% of online adults use social networking sites, up from 37% in November 2008.
  • Adults are increasingly fragmenting their social networking experience as a majority of those who use social networking sites – 52% – say they have two or more different profiles. That is up from 42% who had multiple profiles in May 2008.
  • Facebook is currently the most commonly-used online social network among adults. Among adult profile owners 73% have a profile on Facebook, 48% have a profile on MySpace and 14% have a LinkedIn profile
  • The specific sites on which young adults maintain their profiles are different from those used by older adults: Young profile owners are much more likely to maintain a profile on MySpace (66% of young profile owners do so, compared with just 36% of those thirty and older) but less likely to have a profile on the professionally-oriented LinkedIn (7% vs. 19%). In contrast, adult profile owners under thirty and those thirty and older are equally likely to maintain a profile on Facebook (71% of young profile owners do so, compared with 75% of older profile owners).
  • Teens are not using Twitter in large numbers. While teens are bigger users of almost all other online applications, Twitter is an exception. A mere 8% of internet users ages 12-17 use Twitter. High school-age girls are particularly likely to use Twitter. About 14% of online girls ages 14-17 use Twitter, compared with 7% of boys that age.

Wireless internet:

  • Usage rates are especially high among young adults, and the laptop has replaced the desktop as the computer of choice among those under 30.
  • 81% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are wireless internet users. By comparison, 63% of 30-49 year olds and 34% of those ages 50 and up access the internet wirelessly.
  • The impact of the mobile web can be seen in young adults’ computer choices. Two-thirds of 18-29 year olds (66%) own a laptop or netbook, while 53% own a desktop computer. Young adults are the only age cohort for which laptop computers are more popular than desktops.
  • African Americans adults are the most active users of the mobile web, and their use is growing at a faster pace than mobile internet use among white or Hispanic adults.
  • Cell phone ownership is nearly ubiquitous among teens and young adults, and much of the growth in teen cell phone ownership has been driven by adoption among the youngest teens.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of teens and 93% of adults ages 18-29 now have a cell phone.

Knowledge of current events, online shopping:

Pew’s survey of teens also tracked some core internet activities by those ages 12-17 and found:

  • 62% of online teens get news about current events and politics online.
  • 48% of wired teens have bought things online like books, clothing or music, up from 31% who had done so in 2000 when we first asked about this.
  • 31% of online teens get health, dieting or physical fitness information from the internet. And 17% of online teens report they use the internet to gather information about health topics that are hard to discuss with others such as drug use and sexual health topics.

You can see the full report online here.