Thursday, November 19, 2009

Demographics of Five Top Social Networking Sites Using QuantCast

For my individual project, I looked at the demographics of five top social networking sites using QuantCast.com. Included in this analysis were: Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, Friendster, and Hi5. These sites were chosen based on their rank on http://social-networking-websites-review.toptenreviews.com/. Despite having similar benefits such as: photos, comments, friends, applications, and privacy options, different sites clearly appealed to different populations. Facebook uniquely appears to have a more affluent, educated, audience. Facebook also has the largest percentage of visitors (13%) who are age 50+. Myspace, though mostly Caucasian, has an above average number of Hispanic visitors, but also appeals to a young adult audience with no college and children who are under 18. Bebo largely appeals to African American teens, while Friendster’s audience are mostly Asian young adults and Hi5 visitors are mostly Hispanic young adult males with no college who make 0-30k per year.

What are some possible reasons for these demographic differences? Specifically, why are most of the differences related to socioeconomic status and ethnicity? Facebook, for example, may attract a crowd with a higher number college students and college graduates, because, until recently, Facebook required a university e-mail address to join. Also, as Backstrom et al. posited in their theory of diffusion of innovation, that people are more likely to join groups in which they have friends who are already members. This also relates to our previous discussions of trust and recommendations from friends who are already members of a group. What other possible reasons can you come up with for the demographic differences? You can view the charts here: http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AX3vFFf18ROAZGc5NGRzZ3RfMTlnc3Bmc3Noag&hl=en. Qu╬▒ntCast uses estimated data of 220million internet users in the US

An index of 100 means the measurement is on par with the population estimate.


What does this imply about the changing face of the internet? Indeed in the demographic post, we see that people ages 50+ are visiting social networking sites. Is this evident of McAdams idea of “An Esteem Theory of Norms”? Has it become a norm for people to have a Facebook, Myspace, etc.?


p.s. Forgive my poor typing and grammar. I only have the use of one hand due to surgery.

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