Pew Research handed some good news to Google and Microsoft's Bing this week after both search engines announced Wednesday they would start to index real-time updates from Twitter and other social network sites.
It appears that more people these days tweet or use social networks to gain updates or inform others about what they are doing. In fact, the Pew Internet Project's September 2009 survey data released this week suggests the number now sits at 19%, up from 11% in 2008.
Advertisers and marketers planning search campaigns might want to know that women outnumber men, at 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Looking at ethnicity when sharing information through social status updates, the study reveals that 26 percent of African-Americans, 19 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 18 percent of Hispanics either tweet or share information through social updates.
Age makes a difference. The study reveals a rapid uptick of Twitter and other "status-update" services in the past nine months. For example, 37% of Internet users ages 18 to 24 use Twitter or another service, up from 19% in December 2008. Thirty-three percent are between the ages of 18 and 29; 22% between the ages of 30 and 49; 9% ages 50 to 64; and 4% age 65 or over.
Pew also analyzed the education level of people who share information. Interestingly, 21% are college graduates, 21% have some college, 18% have less than a high school education and 17% have a high school diploma.
People who have household incomes less than $29,999 are more likely to tweet or update their social status. The study reveals that 22% of people with combined household incomes of less than $29,999 do; compared with 21% of household incomes of $30,000 to 49,999; 20%, 50,000 to 74,999; and 20%, $75,000 or more.
It's not surprising that people with wireless access to the Internet are more likely -- at 25% -- to tweet or update their social status, compared with those who are tethered, at 8%. Internet users who use social network sites, such as MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn are likely to use Twitter -- at 35% -- compared with 6% of Internet users who do not use such social network sites.
About 39% of people with four or more Internet devices, 28% of people with three devices, 19% of people with two devices and 10% of people with one also update status.