Is Social Networking Separated by Social Class?


092909_facebookrichThat’s what a new Nielsen Claritas study suggests.

The study says that there are class differences among users of social networks – particularly Facebook and MySpace. Wealthier people are 25% more likely to use the former, while the less affluent are 37% more likely to cling to the latter.

More specifically, the research found that “almost 23 percent of Facebook users earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to slightly more than 16% of MySpace users. On the other end of the spectrum, 37 percent of MySpace members earn less than $50,000 annually, compared with about 28% of Facebook users.”

MySpace users tend to be “in middle-class, blue-collar neighborhoods,” said Mike Mancini, vice president of data product management for Nielsen, which used an online panel of more than 200,000 social media users in the United States in August. “They’re on their way up, or perhaps not college educated.”

LinkedIn and Twitter were also part of the study – and the two skew even higher among affluent users.

Nearly 38% of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 a year, and there’s a strong overlap between Facebook and LinkedIn users.

4ba7f_facebookMySpace

There are lots of theories – scientific and otherwise – about the results of Nielsen Claritas study in this article on CNN.com.

But we want to know your take on this issue. Why do you think the less affluent are more apt than the affluent to use MySpace – and vice versa? What is it about these social networking sites that seemingly separates us by the amount of money we make?

Fundamentally, why do you think people (in general) have made the move to Facebook from MySpace. And why are the less affluent still pledging their proverbial allegiance to the fading portal?

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