Breakout

Why Twitter Has Teen Appeal: Rachel Fox

Jeff Macke
Breakout

Twitter's user base is younger than you think. According to Business Insider, 27% of 18 to 29 year olds in the U.S. use Twitter compared to only 16% of people in their 30s and 40s. Actress and investor Rachel Fox says Twitter is in the cool clique among younger teens as well.

"We use Facebook (FB), Instagram, and Twitter," Fox tells me in the attached video. "They are the three social media staples."

Like any good investor Fox did some research. An informal poll of friends and readers of her popular FoxOnStocks website showed Facebook's Instagram to be the favorite for nearly 1/3 of those surveyed. Facebook itself came in second at 30% and Twitter was next with 26% of the sample.

Related: Success of Twitter’s Business Model Questioned Ahead of IPO

Of course a small sample of teens lucky enough to hang with or follow Rachel Fox might be of limited statistical value, but smart investors collect information where they find it. This stuff matters a lot to would-be Twitter investors. Twitter's financial success is going to hinge on advertising dollars. Twitter and Facebook can target ads based on social circles, but the image of a site overall is colored by the age of its user base.

Fox says Facebook is to teens what The Peach Pit was to the gang from Beverly Hills 90210. "Facebook is cool because it offers more of a hang out feel." It's where she goes to figure out where the parties are going to be happening, and instant message with her BFF's (see also: "Besties," or simply "Friends").

Related: Facebook Exposes Twitter’s Teen Trouble

Twitter is still gaining steam with the teen set which is attracted at least in part by the ADD-friendly 140-character brevity. Rachel's generation was raised on the Internet and caffeine. To them there's nothing better than following a few hundred people and letting the fire hose of information flood their brains.

Old timers will find comfort in the fact that being a teenager is still all about having the most friends. "That follower number is big. It's a popularity contest. What's cool and who's cool is important to my generation."

To that end you can follow Rachel on Twitter @foxonstocks (and I'm @jeffmacke).

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