Study: Google+ more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

Study: Google+ more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

Summary: Google+ is more popular amongst parents than college students. Should we be surprised; after all, this is the 'Facebook generation'.

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According to research undertaken by Hitwise, some of the more prominent early adopters to Google+ -- the new social network aimed at rivalling Facebook's dominance -- may not be what one might expect.

The study analysed the early adopters of Google+ in the first six weeks of it being publicly available. Taking into account the limited invitation-only restrictions, it shows that middle-aged, suburban parents are more prolific and stable long-term users of Google+ than their college student kids.

Looking closer at the figures, the classification group representing the suburban parent types make up 2.9 per cent of visits to Google+. The college student group only makes up 0.7 per cent.

Are you surprised? Frankly, I wasn't.

(Image via Flickr)

Google+ is, even in its infancy, is a highly popular service. It has had the highest growth of any social network, with over 10 million users accepting invitations to the site in the first three weeks of its virtual doors opening.

Demographic data released earlier this month show that the dominant age bracket falls within Generation Y terms, with 35% of users aged 25-34. But Google+ falls down with a strong gender divide, with over 71% of all users being male.

But this ongoing stereotype that the Generation Y automatically jump on the new product bandwagon is a fallacy. We're not divinators; and we cannot predict what will and won't be the next big thing.

The Generation Y, particularly college students who live in an insular campus life, does not like change. Inherently an issue with younger people, we stick to our guns and do not like deviating from areas we are comfortable in -- particularly when our social lives are involved.

Why would a college student cheat on their already established online social network with another, which has yet to be populated by the friends they already have elsewhere?

Besides this, the Generation Y today have been 'blinded' by Facebook. We log onto the site every day and know how it works. We understand the 'like' feature, the psychology of acting and enacting our views, thoughts and statuses. Simply put: we know how it works and feel comfortable with it.

Time for a daft analogy.

"A house is a house, but a home is a home."

We feel at home with Facebook, and Twitter is a great holiday home. But Google+, for now, is like settling down in a stranger's house after you kicked the door down.

Google+ is still only for a niche market. As I've said before -- Google+ may one day 'be a Facebook', but not while Facebook is still around.

The Generation Y does not automatically spring onto a new technological marvel and stick with it. It took a long time for Twitter to become a mainstream micro-blogging service for today's young'uns, but it got there in the end.

Having said that, we are a curious bunch. Back to the house, we peek our heads around the corner to see if anyone else is there. If we think we can get away with it for a short while, we will.

But if a house isn't a home, then we won't stick around until it feels like one.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Google

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10 comments
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  • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

    wow, way to stereotype an entire generation.
    tatiGmail
  • If they only knew .....

    That G+ has a privacy policy that is WORST than Facebook.
    wackoae
  • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

    Yeah...0.001% of parents are using it while 0.0001% of students are
    jkfan87
  • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

    Only 18+ are allowed so may be that's one of the reason
    shellcodes_coder
  • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

    G+ trying hard to stay in limelight. Another ill-fated service. Like the crome book , do the world need this??? Absolutely NO.
    owlnet
  • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

    g+? still nothing there
    ozinanoypi
  • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

    Generation Y hates change? If true, they are opposite of every generation before them who like or at least roll with the flow when they are young and become more set in their ways as they age.
    edkollin
    • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

      @edkollin This. To say we're resistant to change is silly. We're usually the first ones to adopt a new toy or technology. But, like everything else in the world, you're only going to get those early adopters if they see something worthwhile in the first place. To most people, G+ just seems like more of the same, so why bother moving from a platform you're well adjusted to for something that really doesn't do anything different.
      Aerowind
  • though G being used in college courses...

    interesting... given that most college students are required to have a google account (which is apparently increasing across campuses) and are increasingly using google services. I also wonder if instructors who plan on using g+ hangouts for office hours, etc. (http://goo.gl/04QX7) - given its perceived ability to better separate personal/professional lives, will slowly change this, or perhaps even push students the other way?
    bfugate1@...
  • RE: Study: Google more popular with parents than students; Surprised?

    Hi,
    You might like to visualize some of the demographic trends that have appeared in the Google+ userbase. We've created 2 infographics - one from the period of closed invites (pre-August) and one 2 weeks after invitations were opened up (post-August). You can find them here:
    http://bimeanalytics.com/blog/google-statistics-dashboard-an-overall-snapshot-of-the-google-userbase/
    and
    http://bimeanalytics.com/blog/google-user-statistics-part-ii/
    kirsty@...