comScore and Pew Research have posted separate reports on social media and its users. comScore focused on actions taken by users and time spent on social networks, Pew looked at users psychographics and habits.
Combing the data gives a good picture that while people are spending more time on social networking sites (one of every six minutes they’re online), those who are engaged in Facebook actually have closer and foster more relationships offline than others. They are more politically engaged and are generally more trusting than the average American.
For advertisers – Pew found that Facebook users were older and only a little more likely to be female, LinkedIn users were way more male and well-educated, and Twitter and MySpace are the most racially diverse, with MySpace having the youngest users.
I find it interesting that they limit demographic definitions to each individual site and not in aggregate. When I publish my blog post, it is announced to my Facebook, Twitter, and LInkedIn accounts. And when I post something on LinkedIn it also posts to my Twitter account. I see these three as very connected and it would be interesting if someone did a cross-analysis study to measure duplication between the three so that we can see the overall audience these three are made up of. If you looked at who I’m friends with and what I like on Facebook, see what groups I’m involved with on LinkedIn and who I’m following/who’s following me on Twitter, you could build a crazy consumer profile of me and serve me relevant ads depending on my interests and needs throughout the world wide web.
But who’s really ever going to convince Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to talk to each other and allow someone to gather and aggregate proprietary data about each of them? Me, perhaps? Nah.
(comScore article posted on Mashable here and Pew article posted on MedaPost here)