The State of Social Media
Comscore Analysis Reveals Demographic Profiles for Selected Social Networking Sites
RESTON, VA, October 5, 2006 – Comscore Media Metrix, a leader in digital media measurement, today released an analysis of the users of leading social networking sites, revealing that significant age differences exist between the user bases of these sites.
Visitors to MySpace.com and Friendster.com generally skew older, with people age 25 and older comprising 68 and 71 percent of their user bases, respectively. Meanwhile, Xanga.com has a younger user profile, with 20 percent of its users in the 12-17 age range, about twice as high as that age segment’s representation within the total Internet audience. Not surprisingly, Facebook.com, which began as a social networking site for college students, also draws a younger audience. More than one-third (34 percent) of visitors to Facebook.com are 18-24 years old, approximately three times the representation of that age segment in the general Internet population.
“While the top social networking sites are typically viewed as directly competing with one another, our analysis demonstrates that each site occupies a slightly different niche,” commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of Comscore Media Metrix. “MySpace.com has the broadest appeal across age ranges, Facebook.com has created a niche among the college crowd, Friendster.com attracts a higher percentage of adults, and Xanga.com is most popular among younger teens. There is a misconception that social networking is the exclusive domain of teenagers, but this analysis confirms that the appeal of social networking sites is far broader.”
Composition of MySpace.com Visitors Now Skews Older
An analysis of visitors to MySpace.com shows that as the site has experienced dramatic visitor growth, it has become more popular among older Internet users. The most significant shift has occurred among teens 12-17, who accounted for 24.7 percent of the MySpace audience in August 2005, but today represent a much lower 11.9 percent of the site’s total audience. Conversely, Internet users between the ages of 35-54 now account for 40.6 percent of the MySpace visitor base, an 8.2 percentage point increase during the past year.
Percent (%) Composition of Unique Visitors
“As social networking sites have become mainstream, the demographic composition of MySpace.com has changed considerably. Last year half of the site’s visitors were at least 25 years old, while today more than two-thirds of MySpace visitors are age 25 or older,” continued Mr. Flanagan. “It will be interesting to monitor the shifts in Facebook’s demographic composition that will undoubtedly occur as a result of the company’s recent decision to open its doors to users of all ages.”
About Comscore Media Metrix
Comscore Media Metrix, a division of Comscore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report – with unmatched accuracy – details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe. Comscore Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings – long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers – while drawing upon Comscore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. All Comscore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.
About Comscore Networks
Comscore Networks is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given Comscore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. Comscore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. Comscore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. Comscore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.
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