College Students: Facebook Top Site, Social Networking Really Hot

October 5, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Men | Women | Youth & Gen X

Whereas MySpace and CollegeHumor topped the list of college students’ favorite websites in the past couple of years, Facebook.com has now taken the top spot, according to the annual “GenX2Z College Brand Study” from Anderson Analytics’ GenX2Z Youth Research Initiative.

Facebook had until now achieved only a strong second place among this demographic – one of the first to identify new technology-related trends – and young women are much more likely than men to have selected Facebook as their favorit site, Anderson Analytics said.

Also among the top 10 websites:

  • MySpace was ranked third by college students; it was the top site in 2006 and the fourth-ranked the previous year.
  • CollegeHumor, ranked first in 2005, was fifth this year after having dropped to fourth place in 2006.
  • Google, in second place in 2007, was fifth in 2006 and third in 2005.

anderson-analytics-college-students-favorite-websites.jpg

Facebook’s No. 1 rank among college students this year is due not to growth within the college demographic but Facebook’s ability to stay relevant to youth over time (it has long been popular among high school students), according  to Tom Anderson, managing partner of Anderson Analytics.

Facebook is the most popular site both among college men and among college women – but it is twice as popular among young women, the study found, apparently because young women are far more interested in social networking than young men.

anderson-analytics-college-students-favorite-websites-by-gender.jpg

College women’s second favorite website, for example, is MySpace, whereas that social-networking site is no longer among the top five sites for college men. Instead, men ranked ESPN.com second.

Men as well as women ranked Google third, and both groups ranked YouTube as their fourth most-favorite sites. However, ranks 5-6 differed significantly by gender.

Social-Networking Use

Anderson Analytics also conducted research among 18-24-year-old users of Facebook.com to find out how many other social-networking sites college students actually use.

Among the findings:

  • Some 39% of Facebook users in this age group use only Facebook for social networking.
  • 45% use Facebook and one other site (such as MySpace).
  • 12% use Facebook and two other social-networking sites

Use of Facebook in Conjunction with other Social Networks:

anderson-analytics-college-students-facebook-plus-other-social-networking-sites-used.jpg

“The gender differences here are significant,” said Jesse Chen, lead consultant for Anderson’s GenX2Z youth research group.

“It’s the opposite of what we see when looking at use of social networking sites for business purposes among adults, where men are far more likely to use sites such as LinkedIn. Among this younger demographic, it’s the women who are the uber networkers.”

Use of Facebook in Conjunction with other Social Networks (Male and Female):

anderson-analytics-college-students-facebook-plus-other-social-networking-sites-used-by-gender.jpg

Just 33% of college-aged female Facebook users were content with using only Facebook for their social-networking needs, compared with 44% of men.

About the study: The GenX2Z study findings came from a sample of 1,000 college students on BrandPort.com representing students from over 375 US colleges and universities, as well as 500 18-24-year-old active users on Faceook.com.

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