Social networkers fall into distinct groups

Social networkers differ in their attitudes to social networking sites and in their behaviour while using them. Ofcom’s qualitative research indicates that site users tend to fall into five distinct groups based on their behaviours and attitudes.

These are as follows:
• Alpha Socialisers – (a minority) people who used sites in intense short bursts to flirt, meet new people, and be entertained.
• Attention Seekers – (some) people who craved attention and comments from others, often by posting photos and customising their profiles.
• Followers – (many) people who joined sites to keep up with what their peers were doing.
• Faithfuls – (many) people who typically used social networking sites to rekindle old friendships, often from school or university.
• Functionals – (a minority) people who tended to be single-minded in using sites for a particular purpose.

Non-users of social networking sites also fall into distinct groups

Non-users also appear to fall into distinct groups; these groups are based on their reasons for not using social networking sites:

• Concerned about safety – people concerned about safety online, in particular making personal details available online.
• Technically inexperienced – people who lack confidence in using the internet and computers.
• Intellectual rejecters – people who have no interest in social networking sites and see them as a waste of time.

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