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The Social Media Minute (8-July-2009)

Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • Facebook Demographic Is Aging
  • Workers Warming Up To Social Networking
  • Technorati Launches Twittorati
  • Trying to Stay Relevant?  Be Ubiquitous

Facebook Demographic Is Aging

A research firm recently took a look at the data Facebook uses to know which ads to serve up to its users. Facebook's Social Ads platform has revealed that the number of users between 18-24 has grown only 5% from January to July of this year. Meanwhile, the number of users aged 25-24 has grown 61%. The 25-53 year-olds have grown 190%, and the social networking service has attracted 515% more people aged over 55.

What do these numbers mean? Well, in terms of growth, Facebook is attracting a much more mature audience. It should be pointed out that the number of young users has not perished, but the growth in other demographics is just taking off. It may be that Facebook was originally embraced by younger groups, and now parents and grandparents are signing on to keep up to date with their family members. Along the way, adults are discovering that Facebook is a fantastic utility for keeping up with their friends as well.

Also, this is ad-based data, which also is aimed at those in the 25-34 age bracket who have more disposable income that those 18-24. Another factor that points to skewed or incomplete data, the iStrategyLabs numbers say that high school and/or college students on Facebook have declined by 16.5% and 21.7% respectively. This might show that fewer Facebook users are reporting their school affiliation. However, that's doubtful, as many Facebook-ees identify themselves by the academic institution they're a part of.

Workers Warming Up To Social Networking

Social Networking has long been thought of as a tool for connecting with your social circle outside of work. Facebook? Twitter? Those are tools for swapping drunk pictures with your friends and updating Grandma on what's up with the kids, according to this line of thinking. However, this mentality is fading, according to a survey from Facetime. According to those surveyed, social networks are useful tools in the business world and IT professionals polled are OK with people accessing social networking sites at work more than ever.

Looking at the figures, 46% of IT pros viewed social networks as having business value. However not all social networks are acceptable in the workplace, as 74% said Second Life has no business value at all. What specific web services are okay in the workplace, according to the study? LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter were listed amongst the responses.

However, on the other hand, a large number IT respondents are leery of social networks as well. 43% of those polled say they feel social network has no business being accessed at work. These folks go on to say web 2.0 tools should only be accessed if they can be secured and controlled.

The overall message is this, while IT department is aware their users are accessing social networks (and admit to doing it themselves), they are worried that company secrets and proprietary information might leak along the way. This conclusion magnifies the market for tools that will help companies enable their workers to connect and share information to be able to do their jobs better, without selling the company out along the way by leaking intellectual property onto the social web.

Technorati Launches Twittorati

In an effort to capture the thoughts and tweets from leading bloggers, Technorati is launching a new website called Twittorati. The new site will aggregate tweets from leading blogs and bloggers. Users can also filter tweets by topic, view most-tweeted blog posts and compare Twitter trends.

The new Technorati project features tweets from the Technorati Top 100 Blogger list and has plans to expand the aggregator to include other content sources over time. Technorati was once a very influential blog search engine and aggregator, and has waned in popularity in recent years. Twittorati will hopefully raise Technorati's profile once again.

These types of Twitter aggregators are useful by showing what an influential group finds interesting. Like Techmeme or Alltop, Twittorati will provide a snapshot into the hot topic areas at any point in time. Technorati runs other Twitter aggregators including Muckrack.com and VentureMaven.com, which aggregate journalist and VC-related tweets respectively.

 

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