Nev Schulman, left, and Max Joseph from “Catfish: The TV Show.” MTV attributes the show’s success to younger millennials.
Longing to Stay Wanted, MTV Turns Its Attention to Younger Viewers
By AMY CHOZICK
Published: June 17, 2013 - NYTimes.com
TRYING to win over a fickle teenager isn’t easy. Trying to win over millions of them every night is — as the kids say — cray cray.
But that’s exactly what MTV has had to do since its inception in the 1980s as the cable channel for disenchanted youth.
“Unlike other brands that get a lock on the audience and age with them, we have to shed our skin and reinvent ourselves,” said Stephen K. Friedman, president of MTV.
The channel is in the process of shedding its skin again, this time to appeal to viewers age 14 to 17 who have different preferences than the 18- to 25-year-olds who make up the older portion of the millennial generation (a cohort born roughly between 1981 and 2000 and also known as Generation Y or the Facebook Generation).
On Tuesday, MTV will introduce its latest deep dive into generational behavior: a nationwide study of 1,800 “young millennials.” The findings will be presented to marketers and MTV programmers to help show how the channel and its sponsors can speak to the younger end of the audience.
These younger viewers grew up looking up to Katniss Everdeen, the gritty heroine from “The Hunger Games,” rather than Harry Potter, the study says. Older millennials were told by their baby boomer parents that “they were special and gifted, with a magic wand capable of changing the world” and “the world is your oyster.” The Generation X parents who are raising this younger crop of millennials tell them “you have to create your own oyster,” the MTV study says.
Generational studies have been pivotal to MTV’s past success. Faced with double-digit declines in ratings in 2008, the channel embarked on an immense research project to try to understand the country’s roughly 80 million millennials and, in turn, to get them to want their MTV.
That study helped inform hits like “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom” and by 2010, ratings among MTV’s core audience of 12- to 34-year-olds had increased by 24 percent to 895,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.
“Candidly, we were hanging onto Gen Xers a little too long,” said Mr. Friedman, who called the 2008 research “a wake-up call.”
Last year, the average number of prime-time viewers age 12 to 34 fell 23 percent, to 834,000, compared with the same period a year earlier, according to Nielsen. (Jason Rzepka, senior vice president for brand communications and public affairs at MTV, pointed out that online streaming had affected nightly ratings, but that the channel remained the most watched basic cable channel among viewers 12 to 24.)
The new study, called “Young Millennials Will Keep Calm & Carry On,” comes at a turning point for MTV. “Jersey Shore,” the channel’s highest rated series ever, ended in December after six seasons. Around the same time, the channel began to notice shifts in behavior and tastes among younger viewers.
“Catfish: The TV Show,” a documentary series about online dating that had its premiere last year, emerged as a surprise hit with an average of 3.2 million viewers an episode and was the highest-rated premiere for an 11 p.m. series. MTV has attributed the show’s popularity, in part, to this younger demographic.
Alison Hillhouse, the vice president of MTV Insights who oversaw the study, said 14- to 17-year-olds were even more comfortable with social media and technology than their older siblings. She calls them “digital latchkey kids” because their hands-off Generation X parents have largely left them alone to navigate the Web.
Unlike the “Yes We Can” optimistic older millennials, this younger group of teenagers has a raised awareness of economic problems, MTV says.
“At age 13 they know they won’t find their dream job right away,” Ms. Hillhouse said. More than three-quarters of 14- to 17-year-olds interviewed said, “I worry about the negative impact that today’s economy will have on me or my future.”
Viacom, the parent company of MTV, is known for its in-depth audience research and for matching that research with marketers’ needs. MTV will take its latest findings to advertisers like Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Pepsi to help inform them about what type of ads will work on this more pragmatic group of teenagers.
“There’s always the research people at the table that helps us really ground the ideas in insight,” said Claudia Cahill, chief content officer at OMD, part of the Omnicom Media Group unit of the Omnicom Group. Ms. Cahill serves as the intermediary between MTV and brands like Pepsi, Hewlett-Packard and State Farm.
Research played a role in Pepsi’s “Live for Now” campaign on MTV and its sister channel, VH1, Ms. Cahill said.
“Marketers who aren’t of this generation have to use tactics to get these teenagers involved,” she said.
The trick for MTV will be to not rely too heavily on cultural anthropology. Skeptics of MTV’s approach say a research-based algorithm could never lead to the alchemy of Madonna in a conical bra, the couch-side cackles of “Beavis and Butt-head” or the first season of “The Real World,” when viewers got a first glimpse at “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.”
MTV will be taking its findings to writers and producers, but Mr. Friedman says he wants the findings to inform creators, rather than dictate what they create. Research, he says, is not brought into the development process until the channel tests pilots with focus groups.
“It’s a marriage of science and art, and you don’t want to underestimate the importance of the art,” Mr. Rzepka of MTV said.
A version of this article appeared in print on June 18, 2013, on page B4 of the New York edition with the headline: Longing to Stay Wanted, MTV Turns Its Attention to Younger Viewers.
By Steffi Yutan
Many of the articles Millennials post online lately are in listicle-format. Real titles range from: “10 Of The Most Unhealthy Relationship Practices,” “6 Things I Regret Doing When I was 22” and “6 Indignities Every Cat Lover Must Face.” These lists are essentially guides on how to deal with life. From maximizing closet space to significant other best practices, topics for how-to lists are as endless as the struggles of life. So why are Millennials so engaged with these lists?
1. Discover new life hacks
Lots of these online lists are simple tips and tricks to do things faster, easier, and smarter. Posting how-to lists on a public article site such as Thought Catalog, or a private Tumblr, is an opportunity for young people to spread their learning to the masses, or a select few friends. Want to figure out how to paint your room without making a big mess? There’s a list for that.
2. Group therapy
Dealing with life’s struggles is serious business. Sharing these experiences online is a powerful bonding and coping exercise. By spelling out this newfound clarity in the form of a list it is much easier to get a point across—and to get feedback. This is one reader’s response to The 20-Something’s Guide to Self-Acceptance:
In 7 points and less than 500 words, this reader was able to connect with the author and feel less alone. Whether the lessons are positive or negative, there is positivity in sharing the experience with others and growing together.
3. Game Planning
They are always on the hunt for a game plan. Growing up in such a complex world can create frustration and moments of feeling stuck. On the contrary, lists are simple and concrete manuals, if you will, on how to succeed in life’s challenging moments. Millennials have the (mis)fortune of coming of age in a time that isn’t completely black and white. How-to lists are a fun approach to making sense of complicated life matters. For example, 13 Tips For Moving Out Of Your Parents’ House Directly After College, is a list targeted for readers who may be stuck in a transitional period. While comedic, the list does help young adults feel more confident about the concept of living alone without the support of Mom or Dad.
4. Ain’t nobody got time for that
They are busy. Juggling work, classes, a social life, family and friends are more than enough to keep someone from reading pages and pages of narrative articles. Unlike stories, people can jump around lists and stop and go without missing a beat. Lists are straight to the point and easily digestible for these always on the go individuals.
By Matt Cohen, MTV Insights
Having grown up in a culture with greater gay visibility and acceptance than ever before, Gay Millennials are quickly speeding past “Coming Out” and moving on to tackle the unique challenges that arise in a “post-out” culture. Chief among these new challenges is the struggle to avoid being tokenized as the Gay Best Friend, or “GBF.”
We’ve heard a lot about GBFs over the past several years, with high school and college-age girls telling us about their beloved gay besties, often beginning stories with phrases like “So my Gay Best Friend and I were at brunch…”
For many girls, having a GBF is a major status symbol. A Teen Vogue article from July 2010 went so far as to place GBFs in the same list as other “must-have” fashion items of the season, alongside a “Proenza Schouler tie-dyed top” and “neon-bright chunky bracelets.”
In speaking with Gay Millennials, we rarely hear them refer to themselves as GBFs. However, Gay Millennials do say that they often feel pressure to embody the role of GBF for their female friends. Domenic, 19, tells us “When I came out in high school, all the girls wanted to go shopping with me and for me to do their hair and make-up. At first, I played along because that’s what I thought gay men did.”
Recognizing that others expect them to fulfill this role, some Gay Millennials have fun with their newfound GBF status and work it to their advantage. Tom, a 23-year-old waiter, revealed to us that he would often play up his “gay-ness” for certain female customers, adopting the role of temporary GBF in order to earn higher tips.
However, being confined to the role of GBF does have its downsides. As Matt, 23, explains “It often feels like people want me to ‘perform’ for them because I am supposed to be the ‘fun gay friend.’ And that makes it hard for me to be taken seriously.”
A new film which premiered last month at the Tribeca Film Festival — appropriately titled “G.B.F.” — explores the mixed emotions many young Gay Millennials feel upon discovering that while their friends openly embrace the fact that they are gay, these friends also expect them to play Will to their Grace (or Jack to their Karen.)
“You don’t even sound like the ones on Bravo.” Above: the trailer for “G.B.F.” a new teen comedy that explores the phenomenon of the Gay Best Friend.
“G.B.F.” follows Tanner, a quiet high school student who is out-ed as the result of a “gay witch-hunt” led by the president of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance who is desperate to have her own GBF. Once the secret is out, Tanner skyrockets to popularity as the three queen bees of the school adopt him into their clique and attempt to reshape Tanner into their ideal Bravo-inspired sidekick. With a tongue-in-cheek script, ”G.B.F.” shows what happens when people cross the fine line from supporting and advocating for their gay friends to objectifying and tokenizing them.
Towards the end of the film, Tanner is crowned prom king, and in his acceptance speech to his classmates, he explains that he doesn’t want to be anyone’s GBF; he just wants to be appreciated for who he is. Ultimately, this is the message we hear from Gay Millennials over and over.
This aversion to being forced into the role of GBF is reflective of a much broader Millennial attitude that challenges the idea of being defined by a monolithic identity. For a generation that defies all-encompassing labels and refuses to check a single box for anything — be it their musical taste, ethnicity, religion, politics, or their career — being known only as “gay” or someone’s “GBF” feels much too limiting. Though Gay Millennials may initially fall into the role of GBF because it provides them with a prescribed template for “how to be gay”, they ultimately opt for forging their own path in defining their new identity.
As Kevin, 23, explains, “When you’re first coming out, you wanna be the Gay Best Friend. But once you’re happy with yourself, you can be whoever you want.”
This is the second in a series of posts on Gay Millennials, in which we’ll share our findings on the unique characteristics and experiences of this generation’s gay youth.
By: Jillian Curran
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover…National Siblings Day? We’ve seen a whole batch of newly created holidays cropping up in social media and Millennials are getting involved in a big way. Mostly living on Instagram and Twitter, these faux events seem to spring out of nowhere, giving people a reason to celebrate a random day of the week and connect with their friends.
But it’s actually not so surprising, as we continue to study this generation, that their optimistic viewpoint and “live in the moment” or dare say, YOLO, mentality would produce a daily holiday…just because. Why do we have to wait months, when we can celebrate today? Who knows what’s around the corner. And in light of the recent tragedies and natural disasters, maybe there is a growing need to connect with each other and appreciate the little things…even if it is with a goofy picture from elementary school.
We started seeing these mini events a couple years ago with hashtags like #TBT (Throwback Thursdays, a deep dive into the family vault for cute or often times embarrassing photos) and it seems like a new one pops up every week (i.e. Transformation Tuesday, Woman Crush Wednesday, Flashback Friday, and Selfie Sunday.) We know that Millennials are constantly looking for ways to feel special or stand out and these holidays are a great platform to flex their creative muscles with a unique post or meme. One panelist talks about this trend in regards to the changing seasons saying, “This is my favorite time of year because of all the cliché statuses …we see them more and more, but it’s interesting how people try to put a new spin on them.”
Here are some out of the blue “holidays” and trends we’ve been seeing.
New Social Media Holidays
National Siblings Day: April 10th
Although it was started in 1998, this holiday was hugely popular on Instagram this April. Many of our panelists showed their love for their siblings with cute candids or embarrassing awkward family photos.
Best Friends Day: June 8th
Get with your bestie and pose for a selfie!
National Margarita Day: Feb 22nd
Cheers to your favorite Tequila drink!
TGIMonday: Every Day Can Be a Holiday
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are turning into their own mid-week celebration on Instagram as a way to get through the week together!
Digitizing Real Holidays:
Smaller holidays like Valentine’s Day, New Years and Mother’s Day have become a bigger deal on social media, with their own unique twists.
Valentine’s Day: In addition to the adoring couples’ posts there were some interesting spins on single and proud with #imsinglebecause
And even for those in love with the gym in the Fitblr (Fitness Tumblr) Valentine
Mother’s Day this year seemed more about a Facebook post than a card in the mail. We saw Millennials posting childhood pictures and publicly showing appreciation for their Moms..making her the main event of their day.
A Post For All Seasons
The change of seasons is even a reason to celebrate! This past fall, we saw a huge buzz about sweater weather, falling leaves and the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks.
And for spring…
April 25th: Light Jacket Weather Day (From Miss Congeniality)
April 31: A throwback to NSYNC days…JT’s “It’s Gonna be May” (A personal favorite)
And last but not least “May the 4th be with you”
By Jillian Curran, MTV Insights
We always pay attention when Millennials push a boundary, so most recently we’ve been looking at the generation’s relationship to diet and exercise regimes. Veganism, Juice Cleanses, and Gluten Free diets (used specifically for weight loss) are gaining momentum on college campuses; many girls are even starting their own blogs/Tumblrs to promote and show off their healthy lifestyle.
We’ve also seen a trend in bodybuilding and lifting among girls, as one panelist told us, “There are actually some girls on my Facebook who have taken up bodybuilding and post picture updates of their bulging muscles regularly. And one is kind of a girly girl, so I didn’t expect that. They’re not just wanting toned muscles, but muscles bigger than most guys have. The app “Watch Me Change My Weight (a time-lapse video of your fitness progress) is also popular. “ Many blogs and tumblrs are dedicated to this trend under the tag #fitspo, #fitspiration, and #Fitblr, curating workouts, diets and inspirational messages for motivation.
Running a half marathon or participating in a triathlon is “NBD”, “everyone does them” (and “humblebrags” about their workouts on Facebook). People are even entering out of-the-box competitions like Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, and Spartan Race that showcase crawling under barbed wire, jumping in freezing cold pools of water and running through fire.
We cant tell yet if it’s perfectionism, one-up-manship, sensation-seeking or some new dynamic driving this trend, but we’ll keep watching it closely and making mental notes while taking our Soul Cycle classes!
To paraphrase Warhol, everyone seems to be getting their 15 minutes of “Tumblr Fame.” The “Tumblr Famous,” those who gather a serious following and through this highly platform-specific notoriety, are multiplying.
TF is an interesting new development in the story of social media’s ability to create ‘distributed fame.’ What’s quite intriguing here is how hard it is to put your finger on what exactly is driving the popularity of any individual TF. It’s not “famous for nothing,” as some media commentators have claimed. Their followers clearly find something captivating about them. But what exactly is that elusive ‘x factor’ that’s so hooky with the follower fans?
It seems that the TFs are operating as “brand-lettes”…micro-brands broadcasting in a very specific, distinctive, authentic “micro voice,” and on a very particular “dog whistle” frequency: inaudible to many, a clarion call to some. This micro-branding is often playing with one or more quite sophisticated principles of good mass communication. For example…
Visual voice: Many popular bloggers can be identified by the visual vibe of their page or personal style. Molly Soda, for example, has fans who emulate her very particular look.
Editorial voice: Some popular Tumblr users include info and photos from their actual lives, but many don’t. “Deep” use of the reblogging function of Tumblr Tumblr to curate with a very particular viewpoint. This curatorial, filtered view appears to creating a kind of intimacy with the follower that that is especially compelling.
Relatable voice: Marketers have struggled for decades to create the illusion of relatable. So-called “Slice of life” advertising was coined for just this reason. “Hey, recognize this scene? Yes, it’s your life. Well here’s how this product makes it better…” By screen grabbing the stuff of their everyday lives and making a channel of it, TFs are creating complete authentic slices of life that invite the follower in to say “I know you, I recognize myself (or see my aspirational self) there, we are ‘friends’….”
Some of the “Tumblr Famous” are drawing in as many fans as mainstream celebrities. Clearly we are witnessing another chapter in the flattening of the field between the famous and the fan. One the one hand the distance between the famous and the fan is collapsing as we have discussed before (link to zero distance), and on the other the tools and techniques of fame are now in the hands of everyone, fueled by powerful platforms to bring that to full expression.
By Alison Hillhouse, MTV Insights
Thanks to Twitter, Diplo can invite fans to graffiti his photos, Khloe Kardashian wishes followers good luck on midterms and fans truly believe “artists can be your best friends.” MTV has been talking with Millennials about this narrowing distance between fans & celebs … we call it “Zero Distancing.”
In a panel @MTVInsights hosted during Social Media Week, Millennial super-fans painted a picture of what today’s intimate interactions with celebs looks like. Here’s what we heard:
· Rewards in Re-tweets: Kassie, 22, went backstage to show the famous DJ Diplo her “Diplo Kitty” nails. “He Instagrammed this shot… and it made my life,” she explains. She also talked about when he invited fans to creatively alter a photo of him, and “make it trippy.” Kassie’s photo-editing creativity earned her a re-tweet. She says, “A re-tweet seems small, but it’s so rewarding… it shows me he acknowledges what I did and makes me even more obsessed with him.”
· Behind-the-Behind-the-Scenes: Devi, 18, loves One Directions’ behind-the-behind-the-scenes Tweets, whether it’s Zane taking a photo of Harry sleeping or the guys posting a goofing-off video when fans thought they would’ve been rehearsing. “It gives you insight into what they do all day… and we get to see this side of them that not all artists share.”
· Punctuation Perfectionists: Emily, 17, notes that One Direction fans are OBSESSIVE about every character in every Tweet from their favorite band. “We notice all the little things, where they put periods; how they do smiley faces… we know right away when something is off.” Like when a manager takes over. “It irks us. We know that’s not Liam. That period wouldn’t be there. We know Liam can’t spell.”
Real Love: Nicole, 14, gets real love and friendship from Khloe on Twitter. Khloe’s sent her advice on studying and offered well wishes when she was sick with the flu. Nicole says“It’s honestly like I know her, even though we’ve never met… it’s like we just have a relationship. I love her.” She explains that every Friday Khloe has FanFriday and will post a picture someone made for her on Twitter… here’s Nicole’s, along with Khloe’s glowing feedback:
So…What’s the Future? Through hack sessions MTV orchestrated with Millennial super-fans, we learned they are eager for 3 things from their favorite celebs or artists:
1. More “creative challenges” rewarded: True super-fans aren’t opposed to working for celeb-love… in fact it’s even preferred. They want to Photoshop images, go on scavenger hunts, write funny one-liners, and then be rewarded by their favorite celeb with something as simple as a re-tweet or as big as a special Meet & Greet for their city
2. Co-creation opportunities: Super-fans want to be part of the creative process , whether that’s contributing song lyrics, designing album covers or voting on merchandise. Devi, 18, dreams of a world where fans design official merchandise in place of the “cheesy” OD-branded UGGs… and a contest where a fan gets to serve as photojournalist and take over OD’s Instagram feed for a day.
3. Tapping the creative jugular: We’ve heard that celeb Instagram feeds are hot because they are like “mainlining” into the artist’s creative jugular. And our fans are looking for more vehicles to get this intimate revelation as to what inspires their favorite celeb… whether that’s through celeb-generated playlists on Spotify or inspirational photos. They want more than just in-the-moment status updates… they want to get inside celebs’ brains and unpack what inspires them to actually create.
By Jillian Curran, MTV Insights
A whole slew of social commentary has emerged about what it’s like to be 20-something today, with sites gaining momentum like F*ck I’m in my 20s, Thought Catalog and Adulting. On these blogs, Millennials try to dissect the dos/don’t of this somewhat ambiguous life stage in the confusing and chaotic world today…. as Adulting puts it “figure out how to be a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps.” Our panelists often express similar feelings. Mike, 24 says, “We’re not really sure when we’re supposed to become ‘adults’ and I’m not sure if I’ll ever really feel like one.”
As we study this generation, we are seeing this constant need to know the “why” behind the “what.” As “natural researchers”, Millennials are always trying to decode issue and figure out a lifehack for it. It’s not surprising that they are collaborating and working out the rules of modern adulthood together in a funny and even self- deprecating way in these kind of forums. “This content is self-deprecating and honest, giving young people a platform to bitch, learn and figure it all out together.” Explains one of our panelists
All the self-reflection is perhaps not so surprising. There is so much conversation & media commentary out there about what it means to “grow up Millennial” and run headlong into an adulthood laced with unemployment and mounds of student debt. “20-something-milestones” and “before-30 bucket lists” abound. It’s so much a work in process these days, that adult has morphed from a noun to a verb!
By Alison Hillhouse, MTV Insights
Constant feedback looping is a way of life for Millennials, who grew up with “full on” parenting, as well as the omnipotent social media machine, powered by “likes”, lols, RTs and <3333333333. So it’s not surprising that Millennials are creating new apps, sites and forms of digiquette that fuel the loop. In chatting with MTV’s Inner Circle, our college trend panel, we’ve learned about two new feedback mechanisms gaining momentum at universities:
- Anonymous compliment sites – Compliment Facebook pages have been cropping up for colleges around the country — students anonymously post compliments for friends, crushes and randoms in their Psych 101 class. While compliments run the gamut between sincere and joke, most seem to reflect a witty hybrid of both. A sampling:
o “_____ has her sh*t together more than anyone I know. The most beautiful and the most insightful.” ~Kenyon compliments
o “______, every time I see you I just feel happy …. Also, you make a mean Spotify playlist.” ~Kenyon compliments
o “____, you are like the kidney of Hamilton College. People abuse you sometimes, but everyone loves you and needs you no matter what.” ~ Hamilton compliments
o “_____ has a neat beard, a cool personality, and rocks at social media (texting, twitter, and stuff like that)! He’s also nice. Xoxo” ~Michigan Law compliments
- Lulu- This new app is exploding at the University of Florida and other campuses down South – it allows girls to rate guys in their Facebook network across a variety of dimensions from manners to sense of humor to commitment potential. Each guy is also assigned positive hashtags (e.g. #WillSeeRomComs or #Perfect Grammar or #SexualPanther) and negative ones (e.g. #IntegrityChallenged or #Worlds Worst Massages).
Many guys are obsessed with their rankings and feedback, and are clamoring to check girl friends’ cell phones to check their latest status. And when they aren’t pleased, we’re seeing responses in Twitter like this:
Tweet: “I HAVE TROUBLE WITH COMMITMENT?!?! YOU INSIGHTFUL BITCH! #Luluproblems #yoursoright”
With all the interest in soliciting “likes” & positive feedback across different platforms, we’ve also heard rumblings of annoyance that peers are so feedback obsessed. Some of this is reflected in snarky or fake posts seen on these sites. Regardless, we don’t see the “looping” trend reversing anytime soon.
By Alison Hillhouse, MTV Insights
Twitter is on trend with Millennials, particularly teenagers who are looking for a more coded, parent-free and conversational platform to chat & share pics.
Time spent on Twitter has climbed significantly in the past year amongst young Millennials aged 12-24: total minutes spent Tweeting on a PC/Mac are up +94% (Oct to Oct) and up 62% on mobile (ages 18-24; both app+mobile site).
Of course, Facebook is still the elephant in the room, or the mammoth we should say. Its 34.3M 12-24 year-old users dwarf Twitters’ 12.4M (on Mac/PC, Oct.) But the fact that Twitter is picking up steam is something to explore further. MTV Insights hears more & more teens across the country getting excited about Twitter, and here are a few of its advantages…
The age-old teen cry “get out of my room” has now translated to social media. While Millennials often have more peer-like relationships with parents, this doesn’t mean that they want parents involved in their online social life. A group of high school boys from Cincinnati revealed to us: “the good thing about Twitter is parents aren’t on it.”
The 144-character-limit to Tweets naturally gives rise to a more coded language amongst teens; one that not only parents have difficulty interpreting, but also friends who aren’t in on the joke/storyline. Teens frequently “subtweet,” or post coded/vague messages that only the right receiver will be able to interpret (messages that often give rise to intense speculation amongst classmates interested in that night’s drama…)
A subtweet might involve the phrase #oomf (one of my followers) which gives someone the opp to vaguely direct the tweet, e.g. “I like that #oomf said she was going to sleep but is still Tweeting.”
Teens love that Twitter gives them permission to share more “train-of-thought” commentary. Alise, a 17-year old from Chesapeake, VA says “I think Twitter is better because it’s updated in real time. I think Twitter is more of a “train of thought” site – people pretty much post anything they want from jokes to how they feel to what they did today.”
Alondra, a junior from Redford, MI explains “Twitter’s become very popular in my school. While on Twitter, they Tweet all day. You can mention things you’re doing every second of the day without posting it on Facebook and seeming annoying.”
Teens pretty much feel pressured to Facebook-friend their entire school… but Twitter is generally a more socially acceptable environment to be selective. Andy, a 16-year-old female from New Jersey explains: “Twitter is a good way to separate my acquaintances from my best friends. On Facebook, I have a bunch of people, most of which I don’t even talk to. On Twitter, I have people that I can’t go a day without talking to.”
While a lot of Twitter is all about interacting with friends, it’s equally as entertaining to follow celebs, news, sports and parody accounts. So to conclude, we’ll end with a few handles that our @MTVInsight teen panelists recommend:
· Bad Luck Brian: @UnluckyBrian
· Funny Facts: @FunnyFacts
· Aziz Ansari: @azizansari
· Bleacher Report: @BleacherReport
*Data source: ComScore