Popularity of Facebook

First, there is a general increase in use of Facebook and a general
decline in use of MySpace across the board. In 2007, 79% of the study
participants were using Facebook while in 2009, 87% of the sample
reports doing so. In contrast, while in 2007, 55% of the group reported
using MySpace, in 2009, only 36% do so.

we continue to see ethnic and racial differences as well as different
usage by parental education (a proxy for socioeconomic status).
Students of Hispanic origin are more likely to use MySpace than others
and less likely to use Facebook than others. Asian American students
are the least likely to be on MySpace. Regarding parental education,
the relatively small number (7%) of students in the sample whose
parents have less than a high school education are much more likely to
be on MySpace and much less likely to be on Facebook than others.
Students from families where at least one parent has a college degree
are much less likely to be MySpace users than others. —Eszter Hargittai, Crooked Timber

Yet, a recent study by a company called iStrategyLabs (I’ve never heard of them) presents stats that argue high school and college participation in Facebook is down, and posts that perhaps younger people are turned off by the number of older adults joining the service. Here’s (part of) a chart from their site…

facebook_demo_stats_2009.png55+ is on the rise, but if that group is tiny to begin with, so that huge increase doesn’t really mean a whole not at this point — just that the oldsters are catching up to those who identify themselves as high school and college students are dropping. 

I like the fact that this chart gives both the percentage increase and the numbers — that huge increase in “unknown” means very little, since “unkown” is a tiny category.

I wonder also that maybe new HS and college students have no particular reason to join Facebook from January through July… certainly many college students will have switched their ID from “College” to “Alumni” following their spring graduation.  I’d be interested in seeing whether the back-to-school vibe in the fall gets more incoming freshmen to sign up under their new school affiliations.