Study: Blog popularity falling to appeal of social networks

While you may think the freedom of expression and instant Internet exposure provided by personal blogs would be enough to maintain user interest, a new study hailing from the United States suggests teen bloggers favour the convenience of social networking.

Conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the study found that blog usage in those aged between 12 and 17 currently sits at 14 percent – which is a drop of around 50 percent since 2006.

In terms of user reasoning and motivation, the study indicates the drop is connected to a growing reliance on mobile devices for online communication, along with a preference for the immediacy of personal status updates via leading social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.

Amanda Lenhart, the study’s lead author, suggested that the ever-increasing wealth of embed-friendly social networking tools – and specifically the integration of quick and easy status updates – is responsible for pulling younger people towards micro-blogging. 

However, despite the apparent downturn in younger macro-bloggers, the Pew study also registered an upturn of long-form usage in those aged over 30. Specifically, results showed that blogging habits amongst online adults rose from 7 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2009.

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