Thursday, May 31, 2012

Welcome to Generation Tweet: 31 percent of online 18 to 24-year-olds use Twitter

It’s a new generation — of young 20-somethings who tweet from their smartphones.

From May 2011 to February 2012, the overall percentage of online adults who use Twitter barely moved the needle, growing by a measly 2 percent to 15 percent, according to research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Today’s youngsters, especially those in the 18 to 24 age range, are another story entirely.

Nearly one third, or 31 percent, of 18- to 24-year-old internet users are now Twitter users, Pew found. The figure represents 74 percent growth from May 2011 when just 18 percent of internet users in the 18 to 24 age bracket were Twitter users. Plus, 20 percent of these young adults now use Twitter on a typical day, up from 9 percent in May 2011.

Pew’s study findings are based on telephone interviews conducted in two batches earlier this year, each with more than 2,200 adults 18 and older.

Pew also found that one in five, or 20 percent, of smartphone owners are Twitters and that 13 percent of smartphone owners use Twitter on a typical day. The more basic the phone, the less likely internet users are to use Twitter, Pew found. As such, the research center believes there to be a strong connection between the rise of young Twitterers and increased smartphone adoption among this group.

“This correlation between Twitter adoption and smartphone ownership may help to explain the recent growth in Twitter usage among young adults,” Pew said in the report. “Those ages 18-24 are not just the fastest growing group when it comes to Twitter adoption over the last year — they also experienced the largest increase in smartphone ownership of any demographic group over the same time period.”

click to enlarge

While the with-it and hip may be sweet on Twitter, older generations are either loving it or leaving it be. Twitter use by online adults in their mid-20s to mid-40s leveled off in the past year.

Here’s one thing worth nothing: Twitter may not be becoming more approachable to the overall online publication, but those that do use the service are using it more actively. Twitter usage doubled between May 2011 and February 2012 with 8 percent of online adults using Twitter on a daily basis.

Photo credit: Mark J P/Flickr

Filed under: mobile, social

from VentureBeat

“In the Studio,” PublikDemand’s Courtney Powell is Building a Better Business Bureau for the Social Age

Screen shot 2012-05-31 at 2.07.27 AM

Editor’s Note: TechCrunch columnist Semil Shah is based in Palo Alto. You can follow him on Twitter @semil

“In the Studio” begins the summer by welcoming an entrepreneur from Austin who worked in various roles at different startups before she tried to return a cable box to TimeWarner, an experience which motivated her to assemble a new squad, form a new company, and move west to Silicon Valley where she now leads a small team based out of 500 Startups that may be sitting on the next big idea.

Courtney Powell is the CEO and co-founder of PublikDemand, a social crowd-based platform where individuals can initiate and/or join campaigns (or “demands”) against Fortune 1000 companies. (Currently, they support demands against nine larger companies and plan to expand as demands increase.) Their platform is different from other “social good” or corporate social responsibility programs — on PublikDemand, customers of companies can use the power of the crowd to lodge complaints against those large entities and pressure them into changing policy. Within the last six months, PublikDemand has served as the catalyst for a California man who became so fed up with his service from AT&T that he initiated his campaign against the company on the site itself, has created targeted leads for AT&T competitors, and has even caught the eye of Netflix’s Reed Hastings in his fight to preserve Net Neutrality.

On the surface, PublikDemand is tapping into some large, global trends — the explosive growth of crowd-sourcing (embodied by Kickstarter), the ability of social networks to capture, aggregate, and channel negative consumer sentiment, and the next generation’s reluctance to accept the norms of larger, established institutions. With PublikDemand, Powell and her team have created a social media-based “pressure valve” that enables everyday people to collectively pool their complaints to create a bigger swarm that larger companies will have little choice but to deal with. In this brief discussion, Powell explains how people can use PublikDemand today, how they will add new companies over time, and how the company’s platform can amplify customer complaints to bring about real, tangible change.

Note: This discussion was originally recorded on April 23, 2012 in San Francisco.

from TechCrunch

TC/Gadgets Webcast: WWDC Expectations, E3 Excitement, And The Death Of The Spec

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Quite a bit hangs on the horizon in the world of gadgets. E3 is right around the corner, as is WWDC (Apple’s Developer conference), and while hardware gets cooler and cooler, the spec does not.

John, Matt and I discuss this and more in this week’s TC/Gadgets webcast.

As far as WWDC expectations go, the debate currently centers around docks and displays. Matt seems to think that a 4-inch display on a Droid X-sized iPhone is in the works, while I’m hoping against hope that a larger display can fit onto the same size iPhone. John, as usual, doesn’t really care. He’s more interested in the docks — rumors are circulating that suggest a microUSB port on the new iPhone rather than Apple’s standard 30-pin connector.

This would, of course, leave hundreds of speaker and charging docks out in the cold, with the exception that Apple releases John’s suggested $39.99 iDong.

We also discussed what we expect out of E3, which amounts to little more than nothing. No new Xbox, no new PlayStation. Basically, we’re getting our hands on the Wii U, which is exciting, but there’s only so much that can be upgraded in current hardware.

Which leads right into our next point: how important are specs?

Matt wrote a post recently harshing on the Nexus tablet for a lack of wireless connectivity, but more importantly, detailing the insignificance of performance testing and specs. To his first point, John and I both own WiFi-only iPads and are perfectly content, whereas Matt needs data to survive.

As far as specs are concerned, we seem to agree on the idea that specs are important in a few select areas, like camera and display. But without a solid understanding of what they mean, and how they can be unrepresentative, they’re just as worthless as a processor clock speed. For example, Nokia’s 808 Pureview 41-megapixel camera doesn’t take 41-megapixel pictures. It rather captures around 40 megapixels of raw data which is then compressed into an incredibly sharp 8-meagpixel image.

In the same vein, display resolution is only a worth looking at alongside display size. The idea is to have a high resolution on a smaller screen. The bigger the display, the less pixel dense the resolution is.

We spent a good deal of this webcast arguing, so feel free to join the fight in the comments.

from TechCrunch

Microsoft launches the Windows 8 Release Preview – Say hello to what’s next

2012 05 31 10h26 02 520x245 Microsoft launches the Windows 8 Release Preview Say hello to whats next

Today Microsoft made available the Windows 8 Release Preview. Of course, the company broke its own embargoes last night be releasing a blog post concerning the software release. So, while this post is not a surprise, consider it a functional offering.

A Microsoft ‘Release Preview’ is the same as a release candidate, in software terms. For the laymen, this build is the essential Microsoft vision for Windows 8 in terms of features, minus the very last polish that the code will receive before its final release. However, this is the real dope, and not a partial build that is designed for a single demographic.

To get started, download and install Windows 8 Release Preview with Apps now on MSDN Technet (requires login) and soon directly here.

Here are the essentials that you need to know: Windows 8 is a complete re-haul of how Microsoft views computing. Its user interface is fresh, while including a full blend of what one might call normal Windows. It’s radical, because it is complete. The UI choices that Microsoft has made permeate more than just Windows 8, but also involve everything from Xbox to Office. This is big news.

However, you’ve read our early reviews of Windows 8, and our obsessive coverage. Now is the time to get hands on, and dirty. Read our massive post, from the perspective of a Mac users, digging into the code, and install it yourself. Really, get into this.

Microsoft thinks that it has figured out the future of computing. Whether or not they have won’t be decided by us in the media, but by you, the end-user. So get testing. Now.

from The Next Web Feed

‘Do Not Track’ option for consumers within reach by 2013, FTC chief says

Consumer Privacy

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said he’s hopeful that the majority of big companies online will begin offering a “Do Not Track” option to consumers before the end of 2012.

Leibowitz, who spoke about consumer privacy at the D10 conference today, said the FTC has made great strides in getting companies on board with the idea that giving consumers more control over their data will translate to dollar signs in the long-term.

“I’m hopeful that by the end of the year… the majority of companies will be implementing self-regulatory options that allow customers to control their data,” Leibowitz said, adding that this is possible thanks to modern web browsers like Firefox building in the “Do Not Track” features into their applications. Some companies like Twitter have already decided to take advantage of the Do Not Track option.

The FTC released its own report on online consumer privacy in late March, which advocated for the Do Not Track option, consumer data management “by design” via the web, simplified privacy controls for consumers, and greater transparency about a company’s use of personal data. Since the report was released, Leibowitz said the FTC is seeing more companies that have taken its suggestions to heart, and are now changing for the better.

Leibowitz also talked about how the FTC supports the general idea of a “Consumer Bill of Rights” when it comes to consumer privacy — one that not only acknowledges the user data tracking, but also the collection of that data and how it will be used. Congress, however, has yet to pass any overall online privacy protection law that would address these issues, he said.

Until that time, the FTC will continue its “two pronged approach” to protecting consumer privacy by suggesting new policies (as it did with the report released in March) and enforcing its rule when companies disregard those consumer privacy rights, such as its done in the past with Facebook’s Opt-in privacy controls and the Google Buzz user privacy breach.

Image via Mario Lopes/Shutterstock

Filed under: security, VentureBeat

from VentureBeat