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Social Stratification Among Users Of Social Networking Sites

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facebook-vs-twitter

It seems that the Brahmins of cyberspace congregate on Facebook and LinkedIn and the folks that fall into the lower strata of society congregate on MySpace.  A recent article in CNN based on a study by market research firm Nielsen Claritas seems to point in the direction that our socio-economic status is reflected in our favorite social networking site.

Here are some highlights:

People in more affluent demographics are 25 percent more likely to be found friending on Facebook, while the less affluent are 37 percent more likely to connect on MySpace.

Almost 23 percent of Facebook users earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to slightly more than 16 percent of MySpace users.  And 37 percent of MySpace members earn less than $50,000 annually, compared with about 28 percent of Facebook users.

Even more affluent are users of Twitter, the microblogging site, and LinkedIn, a networking site geared to white-collar professionals.  Almost 38 percent of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 a year.

It’s too early to tell if these trends will hold and what it will mean for advertisers and brands.  MySpace has been hemorrhaging users and Facebook is growing exponentially.  If Facebook releases more robust music apps, they could siphon off the segment of MySpace’s community that are there because of music.  Also, LinkedIn is a very specific networking site and very unlike the general networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, so it stands to reason that the user base is more affluent.  Someone on LinkedIn could very well be on a general networking site like Facebook and someone who tweets could be on MySpace.  While the study provides valuable insight, the world of social media is not so cut and dry at this point and is constantly evolving.

Here is the CNN article:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/10/13/social.networking.class/index.html

Users with household income above $75,000

Facebook — 41.74 percent
MySpace — 32.38 percent
LinkedIn — 58.35 percent
Twitter — 43.34 percent

Users with household income under $50,000

Facebook — 28.42 percent
MySpace — 37.13 percent
LinkedIn — 17.34 percent
Twitter — 28.36 percent

Female users

Facebook — 56.33 percent
MySpace — 56.69 percent
LinkedIn — 48.11percent
Twitter — 53.59 percent

Users aged 18 to 24

Facebook — 10.27 percent
MySpace — 15.46 percent
LinkedIn — 3.99 percent
Twitter — 9.51percent

Users aged 35 to 49

Facebook — 31.54 percent
MySpace — 29.09 percent
LinkedIn — 43.64 percent
Twitter — 34.02 percent

Source: The Nielsen Co.

Written by Atique Ullah

October 14, 2009 at 9:02 PM