Commentary

Facebook is College Students' GoTo

According to research by Anderson Analytics, Facebook is not only the overwhelming favorite social networking site (SNS) among college students, it may rapidly become the only SNS that matters. Facebook is found to be the "coolest network" by far among students with over 300,000,000 Facebook active users, half of whom return to the site every day.

Among seven leading social networking sites ranked by college students in the Anderson Analytics 2009-2010 GenX2Z American College Student Survey conducted this fall, Facebook was viewed as "cool" by 82% of males and 90% of females. All other SNS' were deemed "lame" by significant percentages of both male and female collegiate users. MySpace' the granddaddy of SNS'' was considered "lame" by the largest (31%) portion of college students.

advertisement

advertisement

Facebook not only topped the SNS landscape, it overtook Google as the number one most popular website among both genders of college students surveyed.

Tom H.C. Anderson, managing partner of Anderson Analytics, noted that "Once a trend goes mainstream, it often... loses its ‘cool' factor among young people, and they move on to the next big thing... (the) data indicate this is not the case with Facebook."

In an equally important development, the study found college students of both genders are participating less in blogs (down 5%), and discussion boards (down 8%) from 2008. These results bode well for microblogging sites like Twitter, says the report, whose growth has flattened over the past few months.

"With its increasing variety of applications and flexibility, Facebook is delivering one-stop shopping... (in a) hyper-fragmented digital universe... (it) is becoming more of a hub than just a social networking site - almost a mass medium... " opined Anderson.

Among findings and predictions in the report:

  • 70% of college students said they had watched either an entire television episode or full-length movie online
  • The streaming media website, Hulu.com, ranked among students' ten most popular websites
  • Family Guy topped the list of favorite TV shows among college-aged males
  • More than 800,000 users have joined the fan page for the show's character, Brian the dog
  • Coca-Cola and McDonald's ranked first in their categories between both genders surveyed
  • Coke Facebook fans outnumbered Pepsi fans by approximately 20 to one

Anderson concludes that "... Given the accelerated pace of technological advancement and changes in the way we communicate, it's impossible to predict the future... But if the preferences of today's college students are any indication, Facebook is here to stay..."

The findings reported in this release of the Anderson Analytics GenX2Z American College Student Survey, based on the most recent study conducted in the fall semester 2009, provides a confidence level of +/-3.1% at the 95% confidence level.

For additional information, please visit Anderson Analytics here.

2 comments about "Facebook is College Students' GoTo".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 18, 2009 at 9:27 a.m.

    As of last month, it's 350 million, not 300 million.

    And only 100 million in the U.S., so Facebook is only "nearly-ubiquitous"

    Still, the site is more important to college students than e-mail, and likely to regain some losses once the new changes kick in, whereby selected photos and messages (e.g., beer pong tourneys) can be blocked from some users (i.e., parents).

    Of course, some untrusting parents might try to find out which of their kids' friends is NOT on Facebook and then create a bogus account in that name to penetrate the privacy. The same trick works for prospective employers, but don't tell anyone.

  2. Jennifer Balyint from UD On Campus, December 18, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.

    Interesting article. I'm eager to review the rest of Anderson's study.

    Every single one of our clients has paired Facebook with grassroots, on-campus events. Kraft ambassadors, for example, would promote their upcoming sampling events via Facebook. They'd then post photos and announce winners from the event. Huge success.

    Glad to see FB is still viewed (by college students) as a powerhouse in the college realm. - Jennifer at UD On Campus

Next story loading loading..