Tweens On Twitter


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A quick overview of the growing influence of tweens on Twitter, circa mid-August 2009

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Has Miley shut down her Twitter account now?! I’m sure she has.
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  • @Carri - I did not mean to suggest that teens/tweens know they are a formidable block-- it's marketers who know that. These kids have been marketed to their entire lives in ways that previous generations weren't and they are very aware of how to avoid messages that appear inauthentic or pandering.

    As for devices, etc. - I'm curious about that as well. Most of them do not seem to be going to the actual Twitter site itself or using any sort of standalone app. They're tweeting via these quiz and poll sites, which are on the web and accessed through the browser. The site then feeds Twitter.

    So it's unclear whether the tweens then go to Twitter to see their tweets or if they just leave well enough alone. The fact that many are only following celebs on there seems to indicate they're using it as a broadcast site to keep up with their 'faves' but that may change. (Particularly if they figure out that on a smart phone, DMs work just like text messages, only they're free!)
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  • Alan, you've got some great data and ideas there. I just wonder if tweens/teens actually 'know' they're a formidable block to be marketed to. I doubt that's on their radar screen.

    Also, I'm really curious about what devices tweens are using to generate Twitter traffic; i.e., what's the percentage of mobile devices vs. computers? Either way, I could see traffic actually climbing during the school year. Every experienced tweeter knows that Twitter is an ideal time-waster and procrastination tool when you have work to do. I think it would be the same for kids with homework to do. :-)

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  • Brilliant presentation and valuable data! Thanks a lot Alan for sharing your work, and thought with zephoria.
    I'm quite agree that we'll continue witnessing a significant growth in Teenagers using Twitter, and I think it's a natural behavior to think about their Twitter accounts as 'my celebrity channel'.
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  • Just finished reading the preso and your insightful discussion here Alan/Zephoria, and more people would be well served to do the same. The misinformation from the mashable piece is easy to digest and spread. Not until diving into the details (like Alan did with this preso and your blog post Zephoria) can you see the real behavior and trends. Despite being a parent of kids who aren't quite teens, I can confirm they fit some of the above mentioned behaviors and patterns. Good stuff you two!
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Tweens On Twitter

  1. 1. Tweens & Twitter<br />Or Why Are Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers Common Trending Terms?<br />
  2. 2. A recent Nielsen Study “proved” that teens andtweens were not on Twitter<br />The many possibilities as to why they were not on Twitter was heatedly debated on Mashable and other sites<br />
  3. 3. But Disney Channel stars are all over Twitter<br />The Disney Channel caters to tweens (kids 6-12) and is the top rated channel in that demographic (Source: Nielsen Media Research, April 09)<br />
  4. 4. (Older teens are too cool for Disney Channel)<br />Once US teens hit their teen years, they consider Disney Channel somewhat juvenile (Source:<br />
  5. 5. And Disney Channel stars often appear in Twitter’s Trending Terms<br />Disney Channel stars like the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus often show up in the top trending terms on Twitter<br />
  6. 6. Some have over 1,000,000 followers<br />Popular Disney Channel stars have over one million followers: a curious number for a channel whose audience likely needs parental permission to use the computer<br />
  7. 7. Even minor stars, like MitchelMusso have hundreds of thousands of followers<br />Musso plays Oliver, one of Cyrus’ sidekicks on Hannah Montana<br />Gomez stars on breaking Disney Channel show The Wizards of Waverly Place<br />
  8. 8. A Tale of Two Demis<br />Even DemiLovato, an up and coming Disney Channel star (Camp Rock, Sonny With A Chance) is only a million followers short of Twitter powerhouse, Demi Moore<br />
  9. 9. So who is following them?<br />
  10. 10. Many are actual tweens<br />Many tween girls (and they are almost all girls) on Twitter use the service to follow celebrities and rarely, if ever tweet.<br />It appears that Twitter serves as a broadcast medium for them.<br />
  11. 11. Some more tweenTwitterers<br />As noted, they rarely tweet and may not actually be using the service<br />
  12. 12. They follow the usual list of tween-oriented pop stars,<br />Many of these stars appear on Disney Channel shows<br />
  13. 13. A New Development: Polls & Quizzes<br />
  14. 14. A lot of the traffic for Miley Cyrus seems to be coming from three popular Twitter-based quiz sites<br />PollPigeon, LOLQuizand Fun 140 are popular quiz and poll sites that require users to enter their Twitter names so the sites can tweet their answers, thus building awareness for the site.<br />
  15. 15. Alexa rankings indicate three sites are very popular<br />LOLQuiz is the most popular of the three (as well as the oldest)<br />
  16. 16. PollPigeon & Fun140 are US-centric, LolQuiz has a larger Brazilian fan base<br />But LOLQuiz does have a sizable US user base that appears to be growing<br />
  17. 17. Traffic for all three sites picked up almost immediately upon launch<br />LOLQuiz was first out of the gate in June 2009 (source: Alexa rankings)<br />
  18. 18. Reach is up for all three sites<br />(source: Alexa rankings)<br />
  19. 19. PollPigeon recently saw a huge spike in daily pageviews<br />Though that number seems to be leveling off (source: Alexa rankings)<br />
  20. 20. What do these sites offer?<br />
  21. 21. PollPigeon features quizzes about tween pop stars<br />The quizzes are user-created so it’s likely that tweens are also creating them<br />
  22. 22. A look at PollPigeon’s top quizzes shows they are clearly aimed at a tween audience<br />Shows like the Teen Choice Award skew towards tweens and younger teens.<br />
  23. 23. Fun140’s polls are slightly more diverse, but also skew towards teen girls<br />The home screen shows the Twitter names of people who have just finished taking a quiz and as the site is quite popular, the list is in constant movement<br />
  24. 24. LOLQuiz quizzes also center around tween stars<br />LOLQuiz was the first quiz and poll site out of the gate and has a broader range of topics<br />
  25. 25. Most of the search results for “Miley Cyrus” and “DemiLovato” are coming from polls and quizzes<br />The results are coming fast and furious as you can see from the number of new results in the few second it took for me to take a screen shot via Skitch<br />
  26. 26. So Who’s Taking These Quizzes?<br />
  27. 27. Tweens, mostly<br />This user is typical: she joined Twitter over the summer, issued a few tweets, and then found the poll & quiz sites. The last 153 of her 161 tweets are from the poll & quiz sites. Many users display this pattern.<br />
  28. 28. This user has 61 of her 63 tweets coming from poll/quiz sites<br />All of the quizzes and polls she participates in are on topics and celebrities of interest to tweens.<br />
  29. 29. A quick glance at some of the non-poll/quiz tweets reveals standard teen/tween concerns<br />School’s impending arrival, summer boredom, and parents are all topic that crop up frequently<br />
  30. 30. A few users do fall into the older teen demographic<br />This user, an 18 year old girl who is obsessed with Miley Cyrus is fairly typical of a certain segment of many a teen star’s fan base. <br />
  31. 31. Non-US fans, Brazilians in particular, make up another part of the fan base<br />Due to cultural differences, stars that attract a younger, tween audience in the US may still be palatable to overseas teenagers<br />
  32. 32. Conclusions<br />
  33. 33. Tweens are definitely using Twitter<br />Their single-mindedness makes them a formidable bloc<br />
  34. 34. Tween stars attract hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers who are on Twitter to interact with a small group of celebrities<br />
  35. 35. This single-mindedness makes it easy for tweens to affect the Trending Topics list<br />Especially with three popular poll and quiz sites to spur things on<br />
  36. 36. Fast Company’s profile of LOLQuiz founder Zohrob touches on this<br />
  37. 37. Zohrob acknowledges that it is tweens doing the tweeting<br />
  38. 38. But tweens are fickle<br />
  39. 39. While Oprah and Ashton Kutscher may have brought the tweens to Twitter, the quizzes and polls are what have kept them there.<br />
  40. 40. There are only so many quizzes anyone can take before boredom sets in.<br />
  41. 41. Tweens have a lot of downtime during the summer that disappears come September when school starts up<br />
  42. 42. On the other hand, it’s now a habit<br />
  43. 43. Tweens know that their single-mindedness makes them a powerful block<br />
  44. 44. They see Twitter as a place to discuss pop culture events from their world, like the Teen Choice Awards<br />
  45. 45. A shared affinity for a particular pop star is a topic people feel comfortable discussing with total strangers<br />
  46. 46. Marketers have noticed too<br />Zach Efron is using Tweens on Twitter to promote his new movie “17 Again”<br />
  47. 47. Predictions<br />
  48. 48. The popularity of the poll and quiz sites will wane as the school year starts, and their ability to affect Trending Topics will lessen<br />
  49. 49. Tweens will return to Twitter to discuss tween-oriented events, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon events in particular<br />The chatter around these events will come and go quickly, with only die-hard fans sticking around more than a day or two<br />
  50. 50. Overseas fans will continue to discover the poll and quiz sites and keep them going<br />They will add their own home-grown teen pop stars to the mix<br />
  51. 51. Marketers will try and harness the Twitter power of tweens with promotions and events around popular celebrities and/or tween-oriented products<br />
  52. 52. Social media and tech types will continue to be baffled by the appearance of the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus amidst the stream of political crises and Apple product introductions<br />
  53. 53. Thank you<br />