Co-founder of the tech startup Branch, Josh Miller, recently reviewed social media trends through his 15-year-old sister’s eyes. She shared that among her peers, Instagram and Snapchat were the tools of choice. Though Facebook was used, it was visited very infrequently because of its addictive nature and the possibility of “getting lost in it.” Tumblr also met with low usage, being labeled by the teen as a tool for middle schoolers – not for high schoolers.
But the teen’s take on Twitter was possibly the most surprising. Here’s what she shared with her brother on her peers’ use of the micro-blogging platform:
“Nobody uses it. I know you love it but I don’t get it. I mean, I guess a a few kids use it but they’re all the ones who won’t shut up in class, who always think they have something important to say.”
A 2011 Pew survey echoes this feeling by finding that just 16 percent of teens use Twitter. Why such a low number? If compared to the photo-driven apps like Instagram and Snapshot, Twitter could be found to be more impersonal and very text-heavy – not what many teens are looking for.
And apparently, not many moms are drawn to Twitter either. While 87 percent of moms online have heard of Twitter, only 10 percent ever use it, according to a nationally representative study by Edison Research. Compare this to the 72 percent of moms on Facebook, and it seems as if Twitter has lost its appeal with moms.
So what about Facebook appeals most to moms?
The ability to connect with friends and family and share in their lives. Moms on Facebook have an average of 255 friends, including teenagers. At least 77 percent of moms on Facebook are friends with their teenage children. What’s even more impressive is the fact that one-quarter of moms would be willing to give up TV to keep Facebook.
But don’t write Twitter off just yet.
Despite moms and teens’ lack of love for the platform, Twitter has managed to become a top user by more than 200 million people, as recently tweeted by Twitter. And this fast-growing contender has doubled in size within the last 15 months, making it the second largest social network in the world.
So if the cool kids aren’t making up the large majority of this number, then who is using Twitter? Apparently, 75 percent of the world’s top leaders are very fond of the platform. Out of 164 countries surveyed, 123 have heads of state on Twitter. And as Twitter continues to set new records in the areas of users and activity, it makes sense that leaders begin to see its value.
Your thoughts: is it time for moms to reconsider the value of Twitter?