Earlier in the year reports abounded that contrary to popular belief, most Twitter users were older and many in Gen Y were simply not interested in the much hyped micro-blogging site. Now, in an apparent reversal, it's claimed young people have changed their minds and begun flocking to Twitter, with the median age on the service dropping to 31, compared to Facebook's 33. Why? An article on RedWriteWeb offers some possible explanations:
A recent AP article offered up some ideas including the influx of celebrity tweeters, pressure from teachers or bosses, and it even hinted that Gen Y'ers entering the workplace have found value in the network for business-related purposes. That same sentiment was shared by Meredith Sires of Gen Y trend-watching site, YPulse. She theorizes that the rapid growth in the 18-24 demographic has to do more with the recent college graduates segment of that group finding ways to build entirely new online contact lists and create new identities more closely tied to information-sharing.This 'Gen Y is on Twitter as a career tool' thesis works pretty well for me. As a Gen Y Twitter user myself (@EntryLevelRebel) I can attest that when I enter my other networks like Gmail and Facebook into Twitter's find people function, the only hits that come back as activate accounts with recent tweets are career contacts made through blogging, a few beloved super geek friends and the odd narcissist. In my experience, very few young people who do not have something specific (beyond their so-called "personal brand") to promote are tweeting -- though for all I know they may be using the service as a listening device to take the popular pulse on topics that interest them. But maybe that's just me. Are your friends on Twitter for any other reason than to sell something?