A new study being released this morning by Anderson Analytics reveals that prior reports suggesting Facebook may be losing it’s coolness factor among college students are inaccurate. Facebook was viewed as “cool” by 82 percent of males and 90 percent of females in the study. While the study does not allude to reasons for the site’s continued popularity, it does suggest that Facebook is becoming a “new mass medium”.
Also of interest was that Facebook overtook Google in terms of popularity among both genders. Despite the increased usage by parents, younger users have not left the site for the most part. Instead, younger users are most likely becoming more educated about the privacy settings made available by Facebook. With the new privacy settings rolling out in the coming weeks, younger users will be able to post content which their parents won’t be able to view.
That means users will have more control over the content visible among their diverse relationships (e.g. professional, family, and social) on a single account. That Facebook continues to maintain its popularity among all age groups is phenomenal as most other social networks have failed at diversifying their user base beyond smaller demographic groups.
It will be interesting to see if new users find the new privacy settings to be easier to understand and take advantage of the soon to be released publishing features. For now it appears that Facebook is truly becoming a mass communication tool, not just a “social network” as many still refer to it.