5 Top Reasons Why Twitter is Not Very Popular with Teens!

Is Twitter simply too “dull” for teens to sign up to and use? What are the reasons for the rather low number of teen Twitter users? Would it be wise for Twitter to focus advertising in a way that targets teens? What benefits would teens gain from regularly using Twitter?

A few days ago, through my usual morning research of the latest web news and social bookmarking sites I use, I stumbled upon a very interesting article about teens and their very low percentage of Twitter usage. That fact made me wonder: Why are teens avoiding Twitter?

Quantcast: Twitter.com's teen users are the lowest category (July 09)

Quantcast: Notice Twitter.com's teen index is the lowest (July 09)

Here is my analysis…

5 top reasons why Twitter is not very popular with teens:

  1. Lack of Privacy: As you all know, every single word you type and tweet to your followers could be easily tracked back to you! Twitter is a fully open network in which almost anyone can see your updates! I don’t think teens appreciate that kind of lack of privacy especially in that age in which they rebel against their elders, parents and even siblings!
  2. Dull Platform: Twitter offers different content sharing services that allow its users to share pictures, music, documents and so on. In addition to that, there are many Twitter based games designed for Twitter users such as Mafia Wars and others. Why then is Twitter still not that popular amongst teens? The “tweets” are my main guess. I think the fact that you need to type in words whatever it is you want to share with links rather than graphics and the lack of ability to fully interact with others through their profiles and yours makes Twitter a bit too dull for teens.
  3. The Environment: The more I use Twitter, the more I learn new things related to politics, religion, life, business, design and so on. Twitter’s environment mostly revolves around teaching, promoting, learning and sharing valuable information. Think about it for a second: Do you really think teens want to be a part of that? I mean the majority of teens probably hate school as it is and Twitter is almost like an international school teaching millions of topics!
  4. The Alternatives: When I look at Twitter, I see it as no match for Facebook and MySpace especially when it comes to interaction, stalking your friends’ every move through pictures and status updates, ease of sharing content, ability to send private messages, requesting friendships and playing thousands of games and quizzes. Twitter, though is real-time, seems to be a primitive form of communication when compared to sites such as Facebook!
  5. The Image: It seems to me that since many adults, and parents in specific, are regular Twitter users, Twitter, naturally, will gain a negative image in almost every teen’s perception. Would it be “cool” and “trendy” to use a site or platform my parents use? Well, I honestly don’t care but I’m sure that many teens will have some kind of problem when it comes to being associated with their parents and their Internet use!

Should Teens Use Twitter More?

I honestly believe that Twitter needs to find a better way to attract teens to become loyal users for a few reasons:

  • Promoting Twitter’s overall image and positioning.
  • Providing a better communication bridge between different generations.
  • Allowing for more teen targeted advertising and promotions.

Finally, as Twitter users, would you advice that teens have a more active presence on Twitter? And how do you think that this step could further evolve the way teens think and their outlook on life in general?

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    It has always puzzled me the news about twitter being not popular among teens. I know that they usually are the first ones to adopt new technology, and twitter sounds cool and simple enough for their attention, but then maybe you are right, maybe it is just to textual for their taste, and maybe they would want to enjoy more privacy, I don't know. Or maybe the “what are you doing question” turned out to be of a more sophisticated use than it is and thus not suitable for the teens!

  • http://twitter.com/Irish_beauty susan mccaw

    Finally something the kids don't want and is not going to be over run There is a god :)

  • http://myhugs.blogspot.com/ S K Jain

    Congrates for the insight!

  • http://technobuz.com/ sham

    Cannot even type more than 140 character in twitter i hate tat:(

  • Emma

    As a teen:

    Twitter is boring. It's the worst part of facebook (status updates) with none of the good parts. I get enough attention-whore spam on facebook without getting it from another site too. XP

  • draftz

    Speaking as a 17 year old, I'd say this is a pretty faulty list. Privacy has never been a particularly large concern for me or (as far as I know) any of my friends. I've never even considered the “dull platform” reason, mainly because I've probably only visited twitter twice in my life, which is hardly enough time recognize things such as that. As for the environment, I'm offended! Teens don't like to learn? That's a terribly unfair and untrue stereotype.
    However, I would have to agree with your last two points; twitter seems like a dumbed down version of facebook to me, with the only common feature being the status update. I'd say the reason that twitter's image is so negative is not necessarily because it is our parents using it, I have no qualms with that. As I said before, I've never used twitter, and I don't intend to. Why? In my group of peers it is seen as a terribly “uncool” thing. I highly doubt this association tracks back to adults using it, somehow in their marketing my age group must have been skipped over.

  • aqualungs

    Being not far past a teen myself, I'm completely offended by the idea that you that teens aren't interested in learning about “politics, religion, life, business, design.” By saying that, you've managed to paint every teenager as completely self-obsessed and ignorant. Of course there are some teenagers that have no interest in broadening their horizons but this percent is no larger then the percent of adults who don't care about learning either. Saying that “Teenagers hate school and learning” is what is ignorant.

    The reason why I (and i suspect most teenagers) don't like twitter is because I don't care about every minute detail in your life. I don't care that John Doe is surfing the internet and listening to some great music, or that Lindsey Lohan is on her way to an awards show. I would rather live -my- life then waste my time reading about some self-obsessed business executive's opinion on the new restaurant in LA. Stop trying to paint twitter as something its not.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2011/01/who-is-using-twitter-and-how-are-they-using-it-infograph.html Who Is Using Twitter And How Are They Using It [INFOGRAPH]

    [...] remember reading at the beginning of the last year a lot of headlines talking about how Twitter is for old geezers and how the youth are Twitter aversive, something I didn’t really believe and basically [...]

  • Anonymous

    I’m fifteen and very offended by this list, which seems to be calling teens stupid and ignorant and only interested by pretty pictures. That’s wrong. I love reading articles and learning new things about interesting topics. Twitter is nothing like a school. My problem with Twitter is that it’s for narcissistic people who think that others want to know their every whim. Facebook is for sharing. Twitter is for telling.

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