02/04/2008

Are you an 'Alpha Socialiser'' or an 'Attention Seeker'? ... Ofcom research identifies social networking profiles | Ofcom

Are you an 'Alpha Socialiser'' or an 'Attention Seeker'? ... Ofcom research identifies social networking profiles | Ofcom

Ofcom has published a report into social networking in the UK.

49% of 8-17 year olds have a social networking site presence but 22% of adults also have a presence.

Ofcom have put users into 5 groups

* Alpha Socialisers – mostly male, under 25s, who use sites in intense short bursts to flirt, meet new people and be entertained.

* Attention Seekers – mostly female, who crave attention and comments from others, often by posting photos and customising their profiles.

* Followers – males and females of all ages who join sites to keep up with what their peers are doing.

* Faithfuls – older males and females generally aged over 20, who typically use social networking sites to rekindle old friendships, often from school or university.

* Functionals – mostly older males who tend to be single-minded in using sites for a particular purpose.

There are also 3 groups of people who don't use social networking

* Concerned about safety – often older people and parents concerned about safety online, in particular making personal details available online.

* Technically inexperienced – often people over 30 years old who lack confidence in using the internet and computers.

* Intellectual rejecters – often older teens and young adults who have no interest in social networking sites and see them as a waste of time.

Also

* 41 per cent of children and 44 per cent of adults leave their privacy settings as default 'open' which means that their profiles are visible to anyone;

* 34 per cent of 16-24 year olds are willing to give out sensitive personal information such as their phone number or email address (Get Safe Online Research); and

* 17 per cent of adult users said that they talked to people on social networking sites that they didn't know and 35 per cent spoke to people who were 'friends of friends'.

Facebook is th emost popular site followed by MySpace then Bebo, but Bebo was most popular for users between 8-17.

There seems to have been a lot of media hype following the report.
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