Is the younger generation really driving social media as much as we give it credit for?

Twitter is just one of the social media sites that finds the tween demographic (ages 13-17) isn’t all it’s hyped up to be when it comes to determining the longevity of any given service. MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and similar social networking sites all might have initially been picked up by younger demographics, but as they age, they see the ages of the majority of their users trend upward.

One of the reasons for such a shift is that as more adults get involved in any given social media, there start to be more “adult” uses for the service. MySpace, for example, became a way for musicians and singers to market themselves on a free platform. Facebook is certainly still used by youngsters taking the latest quiz about what Hogwarts house they belong to, but it is also used by adults who promote their services and engage in adult conversations and interactions with their peers.

Twitter is especially sensitive for the younger demographic because of its public nature. The whole point of Twitter is that anyone can see – and follow – your Tweets, which makes it a much more public medium than Facebook or Friendster. Adults are usually quite comfortable with controlling the information they put out there, and are more focused on creating interesting conversation.

Tweens, on the other hand, may well be smart to give Twitter a bye until they feel more secure with the world knowing their whereabouts.