Yesterday, we went in search of Twittering teens, after the NYT couldn’t find any. Time and again we’ve heard statistics tell us that teens don’t tweet—or do they?
The Silicon Alley Insider took a look at comScore’s recent numbers and charted them. The chart says it “measures unique visitors relative to their presence on the Web as a whole”—meaning that if 16% of Internet users are teens, and 16% of Twitter users are teens, they’d be at 100.
For July, teens (well, teens and young adults) are at 120—meaning there is a higher percentage of Twitter users that are teens than Internet users that are teens. Also note that the 12-24 bracket is the only one on an upward trend since June.
But really, we kind of already knew this. When we looked at the much-hyped “Teens don’t tweet!” headlines three weeks ago, we saw yet another lie-with-statistics and took it to task. The Nielsen company issued a chart that said only 16% of those aged 2 to 24 tweeted, while 64% of those aged 25 to 54 tweeted. But:
But the chart on the other hand looks a little misleading. Let’s start with the age bands—technically, you’re supposed to be 13 to use Twitter (doubtful that they can enforce the TOS, but, hey, let’s humor them). If we assume (probably incorrectly, but that’s kind of moot) that the distribution in the 25-54 range is roughly equal and readjust the age banding accordingly, then we get:
Yes, teens and young adults are still slightly underrepresented. But remember this leaves out entirely everyone using phones to Tweet—and if I had to guess, I’d say that the same age group was slightly overrepresented on mobile usage.
So yes, maybe teens fear the publicity of Twitter. Maybe they prefer texting. (My 17 year old sister does.) But let’s get real: teens are on Twitter, just like they are on the Internet.
What do you think? Are teens on Twitter, or are we all just boggled by numbers?