I was doing some research, and I came across the news that Teens Don’t Tweet—as in teens Don’t Use Twitter. I started clicking through links, and discovered it’s a really hot topic.
The story seemed to take on life back in July 2009 when Morgan Stanley Research Europe asked a fifteen year old summer intern, Matthew Robson, to write a research “note” describing how teens consume media. Company executives found his insights valuable enough to print and distribute to their clients, which in turn caused a stir in the marketplace: Twitter is not for teens, Morgan Stanley told by 15-year-old expert, How Teenagers Consume Media: the report that shook the City, 15-Year Old Analyst Trashes TV, Newspapers, Radio, and …Twitter. Robson succinctly pointed out that teens don’t Tweet because “they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their Tweets are pointless,” and that Twitter is strictly for the elderly!
In August 2009, Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, reacted to a similar report published in the New York Times, “Who’s Driving Twitter’s Popularity? Not Teens,” saying the company was not worried by the talk of teens shunning Twitter. He also noted that adults are more apt to eventually be willing to pay for Twitter services if they use it in a professional capacity, whereas teens are not likely to part with their money as easily.
Finally just days ago at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, a group of teens took the stage and displayed a “visceral dislike” of Twitter when questioned about new technologies:
“ ‘If I were using Twitter, I would just say I’m sitting on a couch in front of a bunch of people,’ one teen said, and it was clear he couldn’t fathom why he would do that.”
As someone who doesn’t have a Twitter account, as I agree that it seems pointless, I had always assumed teens were as enamoured with it as Facebook. Apparently I was wrong. If you check out some of the links you’ll find some interesting theories on why teens live to text, but won’t touch Twitter. For those of you who do Tweet, have you tried it with your teens? Has anyone had any success in using it to promote events or library programs?