Be there or be left out of the Conversation

MSN/MTV Circuits of Cool – Social Networks 

Circuit of CoolBrazil, India and Sweden are the biggest users of social networking sites with Holland, Denmark and Germany using them the least.  Globally, young people have an average of 84 contacts in their social networks, with Brazil having the highest (239) and Japan the lowest at only 18 contacts.
 
Young people are generally aware of social networks – only 18% have yet to use them. 70% of 14-24 year olds use the sites and over half regularly update their profile.  Young females (14-17 years) visit them the most – 63% visit weekly, compared with 54% of males of the same age.
 
How are Social Networks used?’
From flirting to ‘checking people out’, networks tend to be relatively small. Globally, social networks allow young people to ‘feel connected’ to their existing friends rather than to meet strangers. The idea of social networks being ‘open to everyone’ has less appeal than the idea of smaller communities among people they know. While they use technology such as IM to arrange their social life, the sites are forums to share and relive experiences.
 
Reasons for having a personal profile 
In the UK and US, where penetration is high, the sites stop them from ‘feeling left out’. They are on them because ‘all their friends’ are. In Germany, where there is low penetration, sites are used to meet people with similar interests. In China, youths use social networks to express themselves, keep a blog, upload content and meet new friends (many Chinese youths don’t have siblings). 
 
What’s on their profile page?
Photos
are the most popular form of content to put on personal pages and over a third of youths add music and video.  When viewing other people’s pages, 57% want to see content about that person to see what they have in common with them. 
 
Are Social Networks here to stay?
The jury is out! An ever increasing amount of time is being spent on social networks (36% claim to use them more than a year ago), more youths are joining (16% have recently joined), 48% think the sites are going to grow, and only 13% claim to be getting bored with them.

pdf_icon Download the electronic version of Circuits of Cool Summary Booklet free of charge.

 

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