As Twitter reaches its seventh birthday and with half of us in GB using social networks, the Ipsos MORI Tech Tracker looks at whether the social network has grown big enough to attain a long life-span.
Social networkers are leading the always-on, connected generation. We have seen ownership of smartphones and tablets leap to over 53% and 25% respectively as of January 2013, but these figures are even more pronounced when we look at those that use social networks. Close to nine in ten of Twitter users also own a smartphone, with iPhone the most popular handset, reflecting the instant and always on nature of the platform. Reflecting its business audience, LinkedIn users are the most likely to own a tablet, with ownership standing at 45%.The ability of social networks to adapt to the needs of the new mobile generation will be key to the next stages of their development.
The number of us using a social network has remained stable over the past year at around one in two of us. Each of the networks have only seen small increases in penetration. The profiles of each of the social networks is also fairly stable – Facebook still reflects the GB online population; Twitter is younger and more affluent and LinkedIn is older, more affluent with a male skew. So, while we may be seeing Twitter growing up and reaching maturity, what is encouraging for the platform as it reaches its seventh birthday is the high proportion of under 25s using the network, providing a strong base who can grow up with the social network over its next phase of development.