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?
Here is my analysis…
5 top reasons why Twitter is not very popular with teens:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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?