If they’re like the rest of 17-to-25-year-olds surveyed by Youth Trends, they likely spent part of that time on Facebook. The social networking site topped the list of favorite sites in Youth Trends’ most recent quarterly survey, and it is now the first choice of nearly 70% of females ages 17-25.
"Although we heard some rumblings anecdotally and from some of our more hyper communicative panelists that Facebook reached a pinnacle," said Josh Weil of Youth Trends, "the results of this report say otherwise."
The survey is conducted quarterly, and the previous quarter marked the first time that Facebook was tops among both women and men.
Two blogs were in the female top 10 list for the first time: Pink Is the New Blog and What Would Tyler Durden Do? (WWTDD). Both blogs have an entertainment/gossip focus, which Mr. Weil says "is consistent with Gen Y females’ current adoration with content surrounding celebrities and their ‘uh oh’ moments."
MySpace was second on the top 10 list for females, but it remained sixth for males, with the percentage of 17-to-25-year-old males listing it as their favorite moving up slightly from 13% in the previous quarterly listing to 14%.
It’s no secret that social networks are increasingly attractive to marketers. eMarketer estimates that $865 million will be spent on social network ads this year, largely on the strength of News Corp.’s recent acquisition of MySpace.
Last fall some industry watchers wondered if social networking was cooling off. Facebook said at the time that its traffic was not slowing, and a spokeswoman told eMarketer the company had been working with comScore
to improve measurement of the site. She said Facebook had more than 10 million registered users.
MySpace also noted at the time that the site experienced a slump between August and September in 2006, but that growth had resumed. Of course, as sites grow larger, growth rates typically slow.
The long-term trends for social networking sites are, for the most part, positive, not only in popularity but also in time spent there — especially by young people. Young people account for a vast proportion of usage of MySpace, Facebook and other social networks.
"The average 12- to 17-year-old spent 260 minutes on MySpace and viewed about 808 pages. By contrast, the average 35- to 54-year-old spent 179 minutes on the site and took in 560 pages," Ad Age reported in October (but did not cite the source of the data).
In other words, teens consumed 44% more content and spent 45% more time there than did older users.