edison research facebook versus twitter 2011Edison Research and Arbitron have released the results of their 2011 Navigating Digital Platforms study, which has been conducted annually since 1998 among U.S. residents aged 12 and older. The data is only based on a sample of 2,020 people, and there are no details on geographic range.

However, the results are extremely interesting, in many cases contrasting greatly with our perception of what social networks and sites are popular.

The stand out figure is the percentage usage of Facebook versus Twitter. 51% of those questioned use Facebook compared to only 8% who use Twitter wheras the general media perception is that the two are in a neck and neck race for users time. My Space that has been written off, even after it’s desperate Facebook ‘merger’ still pulls in 17% usage, more than double that of Twitter.

Its worth pointing out that Twitter is a far more niche group than Facebook, early adopters and the technologically ‘swtiched on’ have been the main Twitter proponents for years, and mass adoption for 140 character status updates will always be slower than the rich social world of Facebook. Thats not to sat Twitter doesn’t have it’s place though, companies ‘customer services’ work being done by Twitter has shot up in the last year, for example all the UK mobile networks now all operate a Twitter account to help users with issues from their phones to their accounts and billing.