It will be really interesting to see in which way Twitter will head in this year, although I doubt after releasing their new interface and new business model that we will be seeing many big stories from the service. Regardless of its fate in the future, Twitter was a very influential medium last year and it was interesting to see how it’s demographics changed during the past year.
I 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 attributed to the awkwardness of finding a purpose for Twitter in the life of the casual social media user of that age group. So I was pleasantly surprised by a new PEW research which investigated the question of “Who is using Twitter and how are they using it” . It found that 8% of US internet users use the service, and people between the ages of 18-29 (youth) were the group with the highest percentage of user – 14% – among all age groups.
Another interesting thing the study found is that a Latino or an African American is more than twice as likely to use Twitter than a White person. It’s interesting to stop and take a look at the ways those communities are using the service, and how at night certain hilarious hashtags seem to originate from them and quickly become trending. I think the explanation is pretty straightforward, I always felt that within those two communities there was a larger sense of solidarity, and of belonging to a bigger social circle that is their minority. That coupled with their sense of humor will make hashtags such as #yourmomma quickly jump into a trending topic because whether the Tweep was from NY or Houston they have already developed a fine appreciation for a good “Your momma…” joke. For Slate’s Farhad Manjoo it was the highly dense clusters of interconnected tweeps that explains why those hashtags regularly become trending, so whatever the reason is, it certainly makes Twitter a more interesting place than the walled castle of Facebook when it comes to cross-community interaction.
So what do you think about African-American and Latino users being such enthusiastic adopters for Twitter? Have noticed any group that has a distinctive manner of using the service? share with us your thoughts in the comment section below.