05 February 2010

Facebook Replacing Blogging for Teens

San Francisco Chronicle

Blogging is becoming a thing of the past for teens and young adults, who are now far more likely to keep in touch with friends on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, according to a new study.

"Since 2006, blogging has dropped among teens and young adults while simultaneously rising among older adults," states a Pew Internet & American Life Project report on social media and mobile Internet use among young people. "As the tools and technology embedded in social networking sites change, and use of the sites continues to grow, youth may be exchanging 'macro-blogging' for microblogging with status updates."

In 2006, 28% of teen Internet users were blogging, and now only 14% do so. Adult blog use is steadily increasing, with one in 10 online adults now maintaining a blog.

Social networking sites are becoming more popular among both teens and adults. Nearly half of adults who use the Web belong to a social networking site, but the trend is even more pronounced among youth.

"[Seventy-three percent] of wired American teens now use social networking websites, a significant increase from previous surveys," Pew reports. "Just over half of online teens (55%) used social networking sites in November 2006 and 65% did so in February 2008."

Young adults ages 18 to 29 have similar habits to teens when it comes to social networking, with 72% of Web users in that age group using the social Web sites. Facebook is the most popular social network for both young adults and adults 30 and older.

Most social networking users are embracing multiple sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.

Among young adults, 71% of people with a social network profile use Facebook, 66% use MySpace and 7% use LinkedIn.

Among the 30-plus crowd, 75% use Facebook, 36% use MySpace and 19% are on LinkedIn.

Twitter is most popular among young adults ages 18-29, with one-third using such services. Just 8% of kids age 12 to 17 use Twitter.

The study also found that "wireless internet use rates are especially high among young adults, and the laptop has replaced the desktop as the computer of choice among those under thirty."

The Pew Survey included 800 teens ages 12 to 17 and their parents; and 2,253 adults ages 18 and older.

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