Facebook Finally Most Popular Site Among College Students -- Driven by Popularity of Social Networking Sites (SNS) Among Young Women

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New Research released by Anderson Analytics' GenX2Z Youth Research Initiative. Facebook now most popular site among college students -- Driven by popularity of Social Networking Sites (SNS) among Young Women.

Anderson Analytics, a full service market research consultancy which utilizes text analytics to understand consumer behavior and monitors online word of mouth (WOM), today announced the release of their annual GenX2Z College Brand Study. The firm has been tracking the popularity of everything from websites, video games and clothing brands to favorite and least favorite advertisements since 2005.

As college students are one of the first groups to identify new technology trends, of great interest each year to both advertisers as well as web-surfers is GenX2Z's ranking of the top 10 favorite websites. For the first time this year Facebook.com took first place. While other sites such as MySpace and CollegeHumor have topped the list in the past, until now Facebook has only achieved a strong second place among this demographic.

"While Facebook has long been the most popular site among high school students, we've seen its popularity growing among a much older audience lately. However, Facebooks' place as #1 among college students this year is not due to growth within the college demographic, rather it is a testament to Facebook being able to stay relevant and interesting to youth over time, something which can be very difficult to do" , said Tom Anderson, Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics. Facebook has done this in part by allowing independedent developers to create various tools or widgets for their site and allowing users to freely create various interest groups. [See table 1]

Facebook is the most popular site regardless of gender. However, it is twice as popular among young women. This is because young women are far more interested in Social Networking than young men. College womens' second favorite website for instance is MySpace, another SNS site which was #1 last year after tremendous growth. However MySpace is no longer among the top five sites for college men. [See Table 2]

To find out just how many social networking sites other than Facebook these college students actually use, Anderson Analytics also conducted research among 18-24 year olds on Facebook.com. Anderson discovered that while 39% of Facebook users in this age group use only Facebook for social networking, 45% use Facebook and one other site like Myspace, 12% use three such sites, and 5% are active on four or more sites!

"The gender differences here are significant" said Jesse Chen, Lead Consultant for Anderson's GenX2Z youth research group, "It's the opposite of what we see when looking at use of social networking sites for business purposes among adults where men are far more likely to use sites such as Linkedin. Among this younger demographic it's the women who are the uber networkers". Only 33% of female Facebook users were content with only using Facebook for their SNS needs compared to 44% of men. [See Chart 1 & Chart 2]

With several social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, and Xing now battling for market share it will be interesting to see which will be left next year. Coincidentally, last year after Anderson Analytics released their findings, Google purchased YouTube ensuring Google's #1 spot in 2006. It will be interesting to see not only what types of acquisitions and mergers are on the way, but also whether one SNS can really cater to a larger demographic audience, or whether students will switch to a more adult networking site like Linkedin as they graduate into the working world?

Methodology:
The GenX2Z study findings came from a sample of 1,000 college students on BrandPort.com representing students from over 375 US Colleges and Universities, and 500, 18-24 year old active users on Faceook.com. The total sample of 1,500 respondents yields statistics which are accurate at the 95% confidence level within +/-2.5%. Anderson Analytics' GenX2Z youth research group plans to release more information on the study in the coming weeks.

About Anderson Analytics
Anderson Analytics is a next generation market research consultancy that combines new technologies such as data and text mining with traditional marketing research techniques. We focus on helping clients gain the "Information Advantage" by delivering both quantitative and qualitative solutions to challenging marketing problems. Anderson Analytics defies the definition of traditional market research because we combine the efficiencies and business experience found in large research firms with the rigorous methodological understanding from academia and the creativity found only in smaller firms. For more information, please see http://www.andersonanalytics.com.

About GenX2z
Whether you call them the 'MTV', 'Boomerang', 'I', or 'New Silent' Generation, GenX2Z will dictate what tomorrow will look like. Anderson Analytics' GenX2Z Consulting focuses on studying this growing demographic. Learn more at http://www.genx2z.com

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