Most online content is accessed by an affluent elite
Facebook and Twitter ‘accessed and created by rich elite’
Wednesday, June 08 2011 by Mark Richards
The internet has long been touted by internet consultants as a way enabling people to express themselves, no matter how rich or poor.
However, new research carried out at the University of California, Berkeley, indicates that most online content is created and also accessed by an affluent elite.
Examining trends on social media, researchers found that college graduates are 150 per cent more likely to be bloggers than non-college graduates.
They are also twice as likely to post videos, photos and use online comment and rating systems.
The implications for internet marketing consulting, particularly those targeting website promotion at lower income demographics, could be significant.
Worryingly, the study found that less than ten per cent of the US population is participating in online production activities.
This is in stark contrast to the role sites like Twitter and Facebook are often touted as playing in developing countries such as China and India, as well as in recent pro-democracy movements across the Middle East.
A recent report commissioned by Vodafone, 2011 Social Impact of Mobiles (SIM), indicated that social networks are becoming increasingly popular in developing countries.
Authors of this report even went as far as to claim that the desire to access social media is driving technological innovation in developing countries.
However, Berkeley doctoral candidate and author of the study Jen Schradie explained: “Having internet access is not enough.
“Even among people online, those who are digital producers are much more likely to have higher incomes and educational levels.”
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