People 18-24 Would Rather Give Up Social Networks Than Email

    October 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

The Participatory Marketing Network (PMN) and Pace University’s Lubin School of Business have shared some interesting findings from a study that found Generation Y (commonly considered the "Net Generation") would abandon social networks before abandoning email or texting.

"These results may be surprising to some, but not if you consider the role email continues to play in the day-to-day lives of Gen Y," said Michael Della Penna, PMN co-founder and Executive Chairman. "As long as email remains the collection point for social networking updates, including alerts around new followers, discussion updates and friend requests, it will remain a powerful force in marketing and our lives."

WebProNews recently ran a piece highlighting 10 reasons social media isn’t replacing email. That was one of them.

According to the study, email is even less likely to be given up than television. Email and text messaging are the activities cited as least likely to be givne up for a week (at 26% each). TV was next at 15%, then phone (11%). Social networks were after that at 9%.

What would Generation Y give up?

Graph via Marketing Charts

Other findings highlighted include:

– Average time spent on social networks per month is 33 hours, compared to 31 hours for email. A difference of two hours per month is unexpectedly small given the disparate media coverage given to Facebook and other social networks.

– Texting remains an important communications tool for Gen Y with the average number of text messages per month exceeding 740.

– Gen Y spend more time emailing, texting and social networking online than talking on the phone, watching TV or reading magazines.

– Interest in mobile marketing remains low among Gen Y, with only one in five now receiving targeted promotional messages and only four percent planning to do so in the future.

The study included 203 consumers between the ages 18 and 24. Another study from Rapleaf looks at the age and gender of email users by service: AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo.