Younger Consumers Shifting Online Time Away from Blogs

Most analysts and marketers know that younger consumers have typically been bigger Internet users than older consumers.  Web use by younger consumers is nearly ubiquitous (93%) while adults over age 65 now have a usage rate of 38%. The bigger news, according to a Pew Internet and American Life Project report, is that the type of Internet use varies drastically by age group.

Online consumers who write blogs:

  • 18–29 year olds: 15% (down from 24% in December 2007)
  • 30+ year olds: 11% (up from 7% in December 2007)

Online consumers who use Twitter:

  • 12–17 year olds: 8%
  • 18–29 year olds: 33%

Online consumers who use social networking sites:

  • 12–17 year olds 73%
  • 18–29 year olds 72%
  • All online adults 47%

These statistics point to some interesting trends. Ben Parr, writing for Mashable, suggests that the younger audience’s shift away from blogs and teens’ lack of interest in Twitter may mean these age groups don’t want to create content. Perhaps younger consumers lack sufficient time or an audience for their blogs.  Parr may be correct that the average teen is not interested in reading lengthy personal posts. If that is the case, we have to wonder why teens aren’t flocking to Twitter, the perfect venue for brief posts. The reason may have to do with the media rich environment that social networks offer teens. In addition to writing brief comments on friends’ pages, teens can also view videos and upload photos. Until additional studies reveal exactly why teens find certain online destinations more appealing than others, marketers would do well to reach for younger audiences through social media sites.

[Sources: Parr, Brent. Teens Don’t Tweet or Blog, Mashable, 2.3.10; Social Media and Young Adults Summary, Pew Internet and American Life Project,  2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.