Saturday, 24 January 2009

Adults and Social Network Websites

I have been busy at Information Online in Sydney (more on that latter) so I have not had time to blog; but in the meantime I noticed those fantastic people at the Pew Internet & American Life atProject have released an excellent report on Adults and Social Network Websites. Authored by Senior Research Specialist Amanda Lenhart, the report looks at adult use of social networking sites. This is a change from the usual research and commentary that focuses on kids as well as Gen x, y, and z and their use social networking.

While much of the findings in this report come as no surprise (e.g. online social networking is more prevalent among professionals), it is good to see this is backed up by empirical research. Key findings include:

* The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years -- from 8% in 2005 to 35% in 2008,
* Most adults, like teens, are using online social networks to connect with people they already know,
* When users do use social networks for professional and personal reasons, they will often maintain multiple profiles, generally on different sites.
* Most, but not all adult social network users are privacy conscious.

If your library is working with and around online social networks you really need to take a closer look at this report.

No comments: