Why aren't teens 'tweeting' as much as adults?

Why aren't teens 'tweeting' as much as adults?

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Some trend watchers say teens and people under 25 just don't use Twitter, while others say this demographic is growing "at breakneck pace." However, both sides seem to agree, mostly adults have been fueling Twitter's popularity.

SocialToo.com CEO Jesse Stay said, "It's a very noisy place. It's the largest conversation in the world."

But, why aren't teens and young adults using Twitter as much as other adults? Stay says many teens are looking for friends, but Twitter users are "followers."

"There's this thing I call ‘The Twitter Game.' The idea behind it is there are all kinds of ways you can game Twitter to gain followers and there are a whole lot of Twitter users playing this game," he said.

Stay says having a large number of Twitter followers adds what some people may think of as credibility to someone, making it appear that many people want to keep up with that person. Also, people using the site to promote their product or service may feel they're building an audience of potential customers. But Stay says this audience can be just an illusion if you're playing "The Twitter Game."

"As a result, you're getting all these followers that probably mean nothing to you and these followers probably don't even care about you. They're trying to build their numbers and hope that you're going to follow them back," he said.

This kind of a marketing tool might not be what teens are looking for.

"It's that that's kind of devaluing the service. It's also that that's making it less interesting to the younger audience," he explained.

Stay says other analysts are comparing Twitter with Myspace, saying it's becoming too polluted with spam, which will just turn off more young people.

Nielsen News says people under the age of 25 make up a quarter of general internet users, but only 16 percent of Twitter users. However, Mashable says teens and adults younger than 24 are Twitter's fastest growing demographic.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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