December 2, 2020

New Research: "The Tweet Smell of Celebrity Success: Explaining Variation in Twitter Adoption among a Diverse Group of Young Adults"

We’re long time admirers of Eszter Hargittai’s work around here and today we’re sharing a link to a preprint version of a paper that Hargittai co-authored with Eden Litt, a graduate student at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois.

Title: New Research: “The Tweet Smell of Celebrity Success: Explaining Variation in Twitter Adoption among a Diverse Group of Young Adults”
Authors: Eszter Hargittai and Eden Litt
Source: Preprint via WebUse.org (Published Online, New Media & Society)

Abstract:

What motivates young adults to start using the popular microblogging site Twitter? Can we identify any systematic patterns of adoption or is use of the service randomly distributed among Internet users of this demographic? Drawing on unique longitudinal data surveying 505 diverse young American adults about their Internet uses at two points in time (2009, 2010), this paper looks at what explains the uptake of Twitter during the year when the site saw considerable increase in use. We find that African Americans are more likely to use the service, as are those with higher Internet skills. Results also suggest that interest in celebrity and entertainment news is a significant predictor of Twitter use mediating the effect of race. In contrast, interest in local and national news, international news, and politics shows no relationship to Twitter adoption in this population segment.

Direct to Full Text (25 Pages;PDF)

Eszter Hargittai leads The Web Use Project research group at Northwestern University.

Northwestern has issued a press release about the paper.

Other Publications by Eszter Hargittai (Interesting Research, Great Reading)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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