Many Adults Not Sold on Social Networking
SAN FRANCISCO - Social-networking services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter may be generating lots of buzz. But old-fashioned, non-digital, face-to-face conversations aren't out of vogue just yet.
About 87% of 1,000 adults questioned in June said they prefer to deal with other people in person instead of via computers or smartphones, according to a survey from Brightkite, a mobile social-networking service, and GfK Technology, a market research agency.
What's more, half of the respondents said that they do not use social networks.
"Social networks are a great tool to connect with people, but they don't replace the pleasure we get from meeting friends," says Rob Lawson, Brightkite's chief marketing officer.
Women prefer face time 70 times more than using social networks. By contrast, men prefer it 33 times more, according to the survey.
Two-thirds of respondents agree that they don't see their friends as often as they would like.
What about tweeting on Twitter? Well, another survey shows that most people still consider that for the birds. Nearly 70% of 2,025 adults questioned in June said they didn't know enough about Twitter to have an opinion about it, according to a LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll.
And 12% said that the service is used only by young people and the media.
But Twitter, which has more than 35 million users, still has plenty to crow about. About 45% of 1,015 advertisers questioned in a different, late-June survey by LinkedIn and Harris said that Twitter will continue to grow. Only 17% said they didn't know enough about Twitter to comment.
"Awareness of Twitter is staggering, thanks to use of the platform to communicate news events like the attacks in Mumbai, the presidential elections last year and to public figures like Oprah Winfrey who use it to engage with their audiences," says Twitter spokeswoman Jenna Sampson.
Still, she says, Twitter is exploring ways to reach additional people.
Representatives for both polling firms said they did not intend to belittle social networks.
Facebook has 250 million members, 50 million of whom joined in the last three months. In April, its members spent 13.9 billion minutes on the site, up 700% from April 2008, says Nielsen NetView. MySpace has nearly 130 million members.