Facebook and Twitter have a very similar demographic

By March 14, 2011Facebook, Twitter

This infographic from GigaOM is interesting.  As mentioned in the title Facebook and Twitter have a very similar demographic.  I was surprised by this at first, but on reflection maybe it is only to be expected – user bases as large as Twitter or Facebook are probably unlikely to deviate much from overall internet usage.

  • It is surprising but as you said when mass market adoption occurs demos begin to look more similar. Most surprised that given twitter’s 140 character text message imposed limit that the log in via mobile is only 7% higher than FB.

    It does confirm what most teenagers are saying regarding twitter being for old people as only 17% of twitter users are 24 or younger v 40% for FB.

  • Yes – it will be interesting to see how Twitter’s age profile evolves. The young will have to learn to love it if the profile is to stay constant, otherwise they are at risk.

  • They do look surprisingly similar but digging deeper reveals some key differences. They would be clearer if drawn as bell-curves.

    First income, Facebook v Twitter:
    51-75k 30% v 23%
    26-50k 34% v 33%
    0-25k 13% v 17%

    Twitter has a significantly lower income profile than Facebook.

    Next, age.
    35-44 18% v 27%
    26-34 23% v 30%
    18-25 29% v 13%
    13-17 11% v 4%

    Facebook has a more even spread of ages, while Twitter is significantly skewed towards 26-44 year olds.

    Those two factors put together are rather interesting. It says that Twitter has an older yet lower income demographic.

    Perhaps a third factor will explain it. Education:

    Other 29% v 17%
    College Grad 22% v 28%
    In College 28% v 48%
    High School 21% v 7%

    ‘Other’ is unhelpful here. Still, half of Twitter users are ‘In College’, while Facebook has three times the proportion of High School users. That seems strange and doesn’t explain the older, poorer Twitter demographic. It would seem to contradict it.

    I always wonder, when I see these infographics, how reliable the data is. If it is reliable, the apparent contradictions are worth investigating further.

    There is another apparent contradiction, namely the login/status update data for Twitter: 27% login everyday while 52% update their status everyday. I suspect that people who post to Twitter from a third-party client don’t consider that they have logged-in.

    What the infographic certainly does reveal, is the power of infographics for marketing. The winners here likely to be Mr Brisbourne himself, GigaOm and Digital Surgeons. I’d be curious to discover what impact the infographic had on web traffic for each of the three.

  • Anonymous

    Twitter is still skewed towards mediarati / tech early adopter users still in my observation (Facebook seems to have far more of my “mainstream” acquaintances on it) hence lower than FB pay – but journos etc have comparatively high influence.

  • πŸ™‚ There are differences between the demos, but I still think the similarity is remarkable. As to who benefits from this infogram – you are right that it doesn’t make any difference to Twitter or Facebook. It might to advertisers and others who use the services though.