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    Social Class Deciding Choice of Social Networks

    By in Social networking

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    I first started using social networks while I was still in school. I remember how popular hi5 was in those days. I saw myself moving on to Orkut and finally Facebook. A recent market research by Nielsen Claritas has released some debate worthy trends among users and relates social networks to the demographics and background of the users.

    Nielsen examined few of the most visited social networking platforms in the US viz. Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Twitter, WordPress, ClassmatesOnline and LinkedIn.

    Screen shot 2009 11 08 at 5.22.37 PM Social Class Deciding Choice of Social Networks

    While the first fact revealed is not news to us – that the number of users participating in social networks is on the increase worldwide.

    The second revelation is somewhat astonishing. According to the survey, in which more than 200,000 users participated, the more affluent societies prefer Facebook over others. The top 30% of the lifestyle segments are likely to use Facebook while bottom one third uses MySpace. There is no specific explanation for this. While some users say they prefer Facebook as it is cleaner other give its secure platform the credit.

    A strong overlap was also found to be seen when it came to users of Facebook and LinkedIn. This is not the first time that such a research is made. Back in 2006, we had heard similar stuff from Danah Boyd.

    When it comes to Blogging, the demographics have less to do with affluence. However, it relates to the geographic locations. A large majority of WordPress and Blogger users come from the highly developed urban areas compared to the small towns. Well, we could attribute this to the level of exposure in the various regions. For obvious reasons, the people dwelling in the metropolitan areas have had longer and greater access to technology.

    Similar trend was also found to be true for the increasingly popular micro blogging platform Twitter. However, Twitter has by far the most diverse set of users.

    India has a slightly different scenario in terms of choice of networks. As comScore reported early this year, In India myspace is replaced by Orkut. The top social networks in India are (rank order) Orkut, Facebook, BharatStudent, hi5, iBibo and MySpace. While Orkut has the largest number of users still, a large fraction has been found to have shifted to Facebook this year. The thing about affluent and urban population holds good here as well. The other networks aren’t that much in the league though BharatStudent is coming up at a great pace.

    When it came to user experience, the opinion was pretty much unanimous. All users seemed to hate when it came to improper incorporation of Ads in the webpages. The new tech savvy generation looks forward to ease-of-use while being able to connect to their mates after school or work and at the same time wish to have a secure environment for themselves.

    I would love to hear back from our readers as to what they think about this demographic study. Is it just a coincidence or there’s actually a class divide when it comes to choice of networks? Also, tell us which social network appeals to you the most?

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    Rajat has written 20 articles.

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    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }


    Yes it always depends on the area of interest in deciding what would you prefer for. At present facebook is one of the best one.


    Rajat Kumar

    ya moreover the choice for us is also governed by which network has most of our friends.


    Rakesh Waghela

    Here comes the distinct article from SML buddy !
    One side talk : Orkut is still a greater website , overall around 40th in alexa !

    Shift from Orkut to facebook will get some break as orkut contacts are not directly available now :( and the buzz created by New Orkut will do some use retention , moreover Indian mass is quite loyalist group and hence Indian Subcontinent would always remain mixed bag of Orkut and Facebook :)

    AFAIK Twitter is gaining popularity but Indians are not so much online in general and hence following Twitter updates is going to remain less popular as far as user sustenance is concerned :)

    Very different kind of article on SML Rajat ! Cool , Keep it up !


    Rajat Kumar

    hey Rakesh, i’m so glad you appreciate the content. Indeed Orkut has by far the widest reach in our part of the wordl. Facebook has introduced the feature to import orkut friends lately too. let’s see how it works out. As for twitter, yes i absolutely agree. Not a significant level of usage yet. so twitter’s future in here is still unpredicted.

    Do keep subscribed to our blog for more and better content. And unlike the opinion dat comments or reader feedback is just a traffic booster, (it might be one of the ways) it’s a very effective method of communicating with the authors and letting them know if the articles appeal to the reader and how it can be enhanced further.


    Gabe | freebloghelp.com

    Great insight on social networks. Part of the reason why FB attracts a “higher” demographic than MySpace is because it doesn’t require (or allow for that matter) crazy HTML customizations.

    Those make pages load slower, more unreadable, and more time consuming to create. People who are doing well in life typically don’t want to waste that much time doing those things.


    John Samuel

    Quite interesting statistics though much of this is well known


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