By Antonio A. Casilli (Telecom Paristech ENST - Centre Edgar-Morin EHESS, Paris)

Six interesting facts about social networking

A few interesting facts about Social Networking Services (mainly Facebook) taken from the recent report issued on June 16 2011 by PEW Internet and American Life. The report, whose title is Social networking sites and our lives is authored by Keith Hampton, Lauren Sessions Goulet, Lee Rainie, Kristen Purcell. Food for thought.

Fact #1: The average age of adult SNS users is now 38.

Sure, as user base increases, the gen Y is ‘caught up’ by gen X-ers, Baby Boomers and the like…

http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks/Summary.aspx

Fact #2: 26% of SNS members are now aged more than 50 (vs. 16% aged 18-22)

Definitely the ‘digital immigrants’ are catching up big time. But this was already clear from the 2009 Generations online Pew Report.

Fact #3: On Facebook, the 90-9-1 rule of participation should actually be a 7-78-15 rule.

(For those who are not familiar with the rule, it states that for every person who posts online contents, there are 9 that just share and comment, and 90 that just lurk)

http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks/Summary.aspx

Fact #4: Facebook revives “dormant” relationships.

These ‘sleeping’ social ties are known in Social Networks Analysis as « maintained » social capital. This is old news actually. Here’s an article from 2007 saying pretty much the same thing.

http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks/Summary.aspx

Fact #5: only 7% of Facebook « friends » never meet.

This kinda puts the gap Facebook/IRL in perspective, doesn’t it ? Facebook confirms itself as an online network aimed at matching offline-social structures.

Fact #6: LinkedIn is the top SNS in terms of political participation.

Forget about ‘Twitter revolutions’. Looks like political participation is still linked to that thing, called ‘participation in the workforce’… #Marx #isityou

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