White House survey says Facebook fans older than Twitter fans

The White House’s fans on Facebook are older on average than its followers on Twitter, a new survey reports.

Fifty percent of the Facebook fans who responded to the survey were over the age of 50, while only 32 percent of Twitter followers were over that age, according to a summary published on "The White House Blog" June 10.

Of those surveyed, 85 percent of the Facebook fans were over the age of 35, and 62 percent of the Twitter fans were over 35.

The White House has 1.1 million fans on Facebook and 2.2 million followers on Twitter. The nonscientific survey was conducted online by White House staff members who asked the fans and followers for feedback.


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Although they aren't statistically significant, the survey results are useful, wrote Erin Lindsay, a White House spokeswoman, in the blog entry.

“The results reflect the opinions of those who took the time to respond to our posts and tweets and to complete the survey, and this kind of feedback is really helpful,” Lindsay wrote. “We’ll be using this information to help improve and guide the efforts of our online program in the upcoming weeks and months.”

Other findings from the survey:

  • 93 percent read White House tweets at least once a week, while 62 percent visit the White House's Facebook page at least once a week.
  • 80 percent of White House Twitter followers were also active on Facebook at least once a week, while only 30 percent of White House Facebook fans were also active on Twitter at least that often.
  • 64 percent of the Facebook fans said the frequency of White House Facebook postings is about right, while 31 percent wanted more and 5 percent said the frequency is too high.
  • 61 percent of the Twitter survey respondents said the frequency of tweets was about right, while 35 percent wanted more and 4 percent wanted fewer.
  • 56 percent of Facebook fans said they share White House posts with others at least once a month, and 78 percent have shared posts at least once. Among Twitter followers, only 35 percent share White House tweets at least once a month, and 58 percent have shared at least once.
  • More than 50 percent of survey respondents did not use Flickr, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit or Delicious.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Mon, Jun 13, 2011 RayW

The headline is probably true, older folks are use to sitting down and putting their thoughts on paper in a coherent form, and more recently, in an email (although you see tweet style emails more and more). Younger folks are use to blasting out shortened trivia in texts several thousand times a month (looked at the bill for my 18 year old, over 5000 texts in and out last month).

Facebook appears to require a modicum of thought and composition while twitter seems to be more of the mindless "how many, how fast" activity. That may be why the age difference noted in the "survey". I do not use either one, so this is based upon what I see with my daughter and the new wave of adding tweets at the end of news comments. My only experience with Facebook is cleaning up infections that the kid thinks MAY have come from a Facebook contact.

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