Synthesizing the results of two recent demographic studies of social network use, CNN's Breeanna Hare concludes that there is a "class divide online," with more affluent users flocking to Facebook and Linked-In, leaving Myspace to a less affluent, "blue collar" segment. This comes in the same vein as statements from a researcher (also quoted in the CNN story) who said that Myspace was becoming a de-facto "digital ghetto." Hare, however, is more concerned with income divisions. She writes:
Hare dubs Twitter the most egalitarian of the popular services:
Almost 23 percent of Facebook users earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to slightly more than 16 percent of MySpace users. On the other end of the spectrum, 37 percent of MySpace members earn less than $50,000 annually, compared with about 28 percent of Facebook users.
If you're looking to branch out of your social network box, your best option may be Twitter. Nielsen's survey didn't find a dominant social class on Twitter as much as they found a geographical one: Those who use Twitter are more likely to live in an urban area where there's greater access to wireless network coverage.As Hare's headline asks, "does social class determine your online social network?"