You are on page 1of 14

Teens & Social

Networks Study
June 2010
Objectives & Methodology
Objective: To understand teens’ experience with social networking and
communities.

Methodology: The study was conducted online, using OTX’s secure and
advanced technological capabilities. Respondents were recruited via
OTX’s robust Online Sample Community
• The survey took respondents approximately 15 minutes to complete
• Field dates: April 26-29, 2010

Sample: Teens 13-17
• n=600 completed surveys
• n=300 boys / n=300 girls
• Natural fall-out for social networking, online gaming
• No past 3 month participation in similar studies

2
Executive Summary of Findings
Online teens in the US report they typically spend 2 hrs on the internet a day.
On average, 80% of that time is spent on a social network.

1. Is Facebook the new MySpace?: Most online teens belong to a social net, and Facebook is still by far
their #1 social network. But, a significant amount of teens report “Facebook Fatigue.”
– Among those teens who have created a profile, roughly one-in-five (19%) claim “they no longer visit Facebook”
or “are using it less than they did a year ago.”

2. “Lack of privacy” or “adult/parental intrusion” seems to be of lesser concern among lapsed
Facebook users: 16% are declining because “my parents joined” and 14% because there are “too
many adults/older people.” A mere 13% attribute it to being “uncomfortable with people seeing my
personal stuff”

3. Teens spend money on Social Nets: Among the more than 2-in-five Social Net Teens (43%) that
have spent money on or in a social network, most consider it “money well spent.”

4. Games garner most of the Social Net Spending among teens: 7% report that they’ve purchased a
“virtual gift” while twice that amount have purchased “currency in a game to by virtual items” (15%) or
“accessories for their avatar in a game” (14%). A significant amount of teens report that they’ve made
the following type of purchases in a social net:

3
Executive Summary of Findings (2)
5. Social net spending teens have a Social Net Spending Allowance: Roughly ½ of teens that have
spent money on a social net, say they have an allowance to spend on these types of things (49%)

6. Access to money is an issue for the teens who haven’t purchased: Roughly 1/3 of those who
haven’t purchased items on/in a social net games, say it’s because they don’t have a credit card (34%)
and their parents don’t like them spending money on that stuff (32%).

7. Games have become teens’ predominant activity on social nets: Teens report that much of the
time they spend on social nets is dedicated to game play.
– More than a third of the teens that play games on Facebook claim that at least 50% of their time on the site
is spent playing games.

8. Social net games are taking over traditional game sites: More than three-quarters of online teens
play games on the internet, and most of that game play seems to be occurring on social net sites.
– Teen gamers on sites like Yahoo! Games, Addicting Games and Miniclip report playing less than 2.5 hours
per week on those sites, while the gamers on Facebook, Maplestory, Gaia Online and MySpace spend
more than twice that amount (6+ hours/wk).

9. Social net gaming seems to be igniting global consciousness among teens: More than 2 in 5 teen
social net gamers (45%) describe social net games as “a great way to meet gamers from around the
world,” and Gaia Online is acknowledged by users as the best site to do so.

10. Teens call social net games “addicting”: The majority of teens who play games on social nets
describe them as “addicting” and also say they’re “getting better.”

4
Teens spend 80% of their “internet time” on social networks
• Teens spend roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes a day on the internet.
• Most of that time is spent on a social networks: 1 hr and 50 minutes on average

Avg. Time Spent Per Week

16:24
12:54

hh:mm
Time Spent Using Time Spent Visiting
the Internet Social Network
Sites*

QA: Which statement best describes your awareness/usage of each of the following social networks? Base: Total respondents
Q9. In an average week, how many hours do you spend on the following social networking site(s) you have a profile on? Base: Teens with a social net profile – 90%

5
Facebook is still the top social net site among teens
• Twitter, WLS, Pandora, Gaia Online and Club Penguin are also popular among teens.
• Almost 2/3 of Online Teens have a profile on/use YouTube, compared to 41% on MySpace.
Have/Had a
Have a Profile
Profile but
and Use it
Stopped Using
Facebook 69% 9%
YouTube
MySpace
64%
41%
15%
22%
78%
Twitter 20% 15% have
Windows Live Spaces 16% 7%
Pandora 15% 6%
created a
Gaia Online 14% 13% profile on
Club Penguin 13% 24% Facebook
Stardoll 6% 8%
Flixster 5% 6%

90% Bebo
Friendster
Habbo
5%
5%
4%
10%
5%
8%
have a Hi5 4% 5%
GamerDNA 4% 2%
profile/use at LinkedIn 4% 4%
least one Roiworld 4% 3%
social net Yelp 3% 4%
Polyvore 3% 3%
Foursquare 3% 3%
Gowalla 3% 2%
Playfire 3% 2%
Orkut 3% 3%
Raptr 3% 2%
Netlog 2% 2%
Looklet 2% 3%

Q1: Which statement best describes your awareness/usage of each
of the following social networks? Base: Total respondents

6
Some teens are professing “Facebook Fatigue”
• Roughly one-in-five of the teens who’ve created a Facebook profile have become lapsed users
(“no longer visiting” or “using it less”).
• Most lapsed users report that their drop-off started within the last 6 months.

% of Lapsed Facebook Users
(Among Teens with Facebook Profiles)

19%
When Facebook Usage Began to Decrease
(among Lapsed Facebook Users)
29%

20%
18%
“No longer visit” (or) 14% 14%
“Using Facebook Less”
68% 5%

Last Last 2-3 Last 4-6 Last 7-11 Last 1 to 2 More than
month months months months years 2 years

Q1: Which statement best describes your awareness/usage of each
of the following social networks? Base: Total respondents
Q2. How long ago did you begin to decrease/end your use of the
following social networks?

7
Lack of interest is the top reason cited for lapsed Facebook usage
• More than a quarter of lapsed users (28%) are more interested in visiting other sites
• More than a fifth (21%) admit that most of their peers don’t use Facebook, and 16% say their
friends are visiting other social nets instead.
• 16% claim that other social nets are better now
Reasons Using Facebook Less or Not Anymore
Base: Using Facebook less or not anymore
Lost interest/it’s boring 45%
More interested in visiting other websites instead 28%
Too many notifications 27%
Most/all of my friends don’t use Facebook 21%
Got tired of trying to keep up with all the activity 21%
Too much activity
Too many ads 20%
Had trouble finding people I know 18%
Most of my friends are using other social networking sites 16%
Other social network sites are better now 16%
Facebook doesn’t offer the features I want 16%
Because my parents joined 16%
Parents/Older Users
Facebook has lost its novelty 14%
Too many adults/older people 14%
Uncomfortable with people seeing my personal stuff 13%
Privacy Issues
Don’t like the changes Facebook has implemented 12%
Didn’t like the people I met on Facebook 11%
Facebook attracts too many younger people 7%
Other 5%
Q2c: Which of the following are reasons you’re using
Facebook less or not using it anymore at all?

8
Games garner most of the Social Net Spending among teens
• More than two-in-five Social Net Teens have spent money on/in a social network (43%)
• 16% have purchased a virtual gift, while more than twice that amount have purchased “currency
in a game to buy virtual items” (35%)
Items Spent Money On/In a Social Network
(among Social Net Spenders)

Points/credits to buy virtual items in a game 35%
Music/tracks 33%
43% Clothing/accessories for avatar in a game 30%
Points/credits to advance in a game 23%
Virtual pet 23%
Virtual items to help advance in a game 19%
New levels/maps for a game 16%
Have spent $$$ on
a social network Virtual gifts for someone else 16%
(Among teens with a social net profile)
Online subscription to play games 16%
Themes/wallpapers 14%
Q6: Which of the following items/things have you spent money Complete game download
on in a social network?
14%
New expansion pack/sequel 14%
Game demos 12%
Other 21%

9
Social net spending teens have a Social Net Spending Allowance
• Roughly ½ of teens that have spent money on a social net, say they have an allowance to spend
on these types of things (49%)
• Most of them consider it money well spent (55%) and say they’d spend more if they had it (60%)

Experience With Money Spent on Gaming in SNS
- % “Describes Extremely/Very Well” -

Prefer to play games that are 100% free 69%
Would spend more money if had it 60%
Usually a good value for the money 55%
Usually pay using points/cash card purchased from retailer 54%
Prefer to spend money on subscription rather than lots of small payments 53%
Process of spending money interferes with gameplay 52%
Have an allowance to spend on these kinds of things 49%
Usually pay using parent’s credit card 48%
Only spend money because I am addicted to game/service 48%
Spend money to keep up with friends while playing a game 47%
Usually regret spending the money 46%
Usually stop playing a game when asked to spend money 41%
Pay with a retail card 37%
Friends usually convince me to spend money 34%
Don’t have time to improve in a game, so spending money allows me to stay ahead 34%
Spend too much money on gaming in social networks 31%
Pay with mobile phone 28%
Pay with own credit card 25%
Pay with rixty/coinstar 23%
Q8: Thinking about the money you have spent on gaming in a social network, how
well does each of the following statements describe your experience? Base: Spent
money on gaming in a social network

10
Access to money is an issue for teens who have yet to purchase
• Roughly 1/3 of those who haven’t purchased items on/in a social net, say it’s because they don’t
have a credit card (34%) and their parents don’t like them spending money on that stuff (32%)
• 61% view it as a waste of money

Reasons for NOT Spending Money on Gaming in SNS
- % “Describes Extremely/Very Well” -

Waste of money 61%
Don’t have a credit card 34%
Parents don’t like me spending money on these kinds of things 32%
Cannot afford it 26%
Too expensive 26%
Parents won’t let me use their credit card 26%
Only like to play free parts of a game 23%
Prefer to spend money on other types of games 17%
Haven’t played any games where needed to spend money 14%
Interferes with gameplay 4%
Just don’t want to 1%
Don’t like/play games 1%
Don’t trust purchasing things online 0%
Games should be free 0%

Q8A: Which of the following are reasons why you haven’t spent any money on
gaming in social networks? Base: Have not spent money on gaming in a social
networking site

11
Games have become the predominant teen activity on Social Nets
• Roughly three-quarters of Online teens play games on the internet, and 81% of Facebook users
play games on Facebook.
• More than a third of Facebook Gamers (35%) dedicate more than 50% of their time on Facebook to
game play.
% Play Games on a Social Net Site
(Among Online Teens)

*Play 1+ hours/week

73%

% Play Games on Facebook % of Time on Facebook spent Playing Games
(Among Teen Facebook Users) (among Facebook Gamers)
44%

81%
21% 21%
14%

35%
1-25 Percent 26-50 Percent 51-75 Percent 76-100 Percent
Q3: How many hours per week do you play games on each of the following sites?
Q9B. You Indicated that you spend X hours per week on Facebook. What percent
of that time is spent playing games on Facebook?

12
Social net games are taking over traditional game sites
• Teen gamers on sites like Yahoo! Games and Addicting Games report playing less than 2.5 hours
per week on those sites, while the gamers on Facebook, Maplestory, Gaia Online and MySpace
spend more than twice that amount (6+ hours/week)
Mean Gaming Hours/Week
(among Users that play games on sites)
Facebook 7.0
Maplestory 6.8
Gaia Online 6.7
MySpace 6.1
Zynga 4.8
Pandora 3.4
Newgrounds 3.2
Hi5* 2.9
Yahoo! Games 2.6
Miniclip 2.6
Bebo* 2.5
Addicting Games 2.5
Club Penguin 2.4
Disney Online Games 2.2
Habbo* 2.0
Friendster 1.9
Cartoon Network Games 1.7
Orkut 1.7
Netlog* 1.6
Gowalla* 1.6

Q3: How many hours per week do you play games on each of the following sites?

13
Teens say Social Net Games are “Addicting”
• The majority of teens view these games as a • Most teen social net gamers describe these
way to relax (73%), a cheap way to have fun games as “addicting” or “getting better”
(63%) and interact with friends (61%). (both 57%)
• More than 2 in 5 gamers say it’s “a great
Teens Perceptions of Social Net Games way to meet gamers from around the world.”
% “Strongly/Somewhat Agree” (Among All Online Teens)

Way to relax & kill time 73%
Cheap way to have fun 63%
Way to interact with friends 61% Teen Gamers Attitudes about Social Net Games
% “Strongly/Somewhat Agree” (Among Social Net Gamers)
Way to compete against friends 58%
Distraction from real world stress 56% Getting better 57%
Way to interact with new people 54% Addicting 57%
Way to exercise/challenge mind 46% Way to interact with new people 54%
Way to express creativity 46% Exciting 54%
Way to express individuality 40% Way to meet others with similar interests 50%
Waste of time 30% Great place to meet gamers from around the
45%
world
Not challenging enough 28%
Way to show off gaming skills 43%
Too basic 26%
Too hard to figure out 16%

• Roughly one-quarter of Online Teens think
that Social Net games are “too basic” (26%),
or “not challenging enough” (28%)

14