New Signs Identify Next Wave of Social Network Preferences Among Youth Culture--Young Girls Leading the Change

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Facebook.com may have reached the peak of its career when it comes to youth culture preferences, as Tumblr.com has clearly moved into second, indicating it may be the next wave in preferred social networks, especially among young girls, as illustrated in Label Networks’ 11th annual Spring Youth Culture Study.

Label Networks' 11th Annual Spring Youth Culture Study 2011

“We were not surprised when they started leaving MySpace, which has significantly dropped in the last 5 years, for Facebook, and now Facebook for Tumblr and Twitter. It’s splintering."

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Facebook.com may have reached the peak of its career when it comes to youth culture preferences, as Tumblr.com has clearly moved into second, indicating it may be the next wave in preferred social networks, especially among young girls, as illustrated in Label Networks’ 11th annual Spring Youth Culture Study.

As part of a vast consumer insights study on 13-25-year-olds across the United States conducted over the past 3 months, when asked what their favorite online community is, youth still rank Facebook number one, however Tumblr has pushed its way into a clear second against Facebook, indicating Facebook may have hit its peak as a new generation is pushing towards the new with Tumblr and Twitter increasing in preferences since last year. Specifically, 16.5% of girls compared with only 3.5% of males now name Tumblr as their second favorite online community, including increases which are highest among 13-14 and 15-17-year-olds.

“In many cases, its young demographics, and particularly females that are among the first to try new methods of communication and social media tools” explains Tom Wallace, President of Label Networks, the producers of the Study and a leader in global youth culture intelligence and research-based branding strategies.

“We were not surprised when they started leaving MySpace, which has significantly dropped in the last 5 years, for Facebook, and now Facebook for Tumblr and Twitter. It’s splintering.” (Additional data from Label Networks’ Spring Youth Culture Study reveals that 30.7% of females compared with 18.5% of males say they are Twittering “More Frequently” in the last 6 months.)

“The rise and fall when youth get into something like this is powerful, and just as fast, they can leave. For businesses, such information is vital towards integrating with a new generation of tech-savvy consumers based on how they are communicating and why, the influences and changes in communication, and where specific strategies will be most relevant and effective,” continues Wallace.

What’s also interesting to note is the reason why youth culture in general visit online communities and how this has changed. For example, the highest reason to visit online communities among males and females 13-25-years-old continues to be to keep in contact with friends, however visiting online communities out of boredom has increased greatly in the past year, especially among females, beating out previous reasons such as finding new music or to meet people.

Whether brands are targeting youth culture or not, the real importance of these findings lies in understanding what’s shaping the landscape of America’s future, especially when it comes to communication patterns and discovery. Similar to how email has fallen off the radar with a new generation skipping right over it, so, too, can other modes of communication become outdated and replaced without a new generation ever having experienced it to begin with.

“The evolution of communication and social networks seems fast but only to those who remember a different way of doing things. To youth culture, “new” has a different meaning because discovery is all a part of growing up,” states Wallace.

For more information about the findings in Label Networks’ Spring Youth Culture Study 2011 email info(at)labelnetworks(dot)com; or call/text (323) 630-4000.

About Label Networks:
Label Networks, Inc. is a leading global youth culture marketing intelligence and brand strategy company that measures the most trendsetting subcultures in the world. Since 2000, Label Networks has created Global Youth Culture Studies and topical Profile Reports based on Label’s proprietary methods to gain constantly fresh quantitative and qualitative data utilizing a combination of remote data-acquisition and analysis systems, and a unique network of Global Youth Culture Experts and Analysts. The results offer scientific and intuitive information, which Label Networks uses as the basis for brand strategies to connect today’s original thinkers in branding, marketing, and sponsorship to the youth marketplace. Among Label Networks’ clients: Apple Computer, Timberland, Dickies, Bauer, Airwalk, Kia, Columbia, LogiTech, Dr. Pepper, Sunkist, SkullCandy, 7-11, RedBull, Coca-Cola, New Balance, Fuel TV/Fox Sports, Oakley, The North Face, Vans Warped Tour, Keep-a-Breast, WELD. Contact: Label Networks, Inc., 548 South Spring St. #PH9, Los Angeles, CA 90013; (323) 630-4000; info(at)labelnetworks(dot)com; http://www.labelnetworks.com.

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Kathleen Gasperini
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