OnlineSocial Networks

Social Networking Demographics: Who Has Smartest and Wealthiest Users?

Using Quantcast analytics from last month (April 2008), I recently compiled data on the most popular social networking sites to determine which ones have the most educated and most wealthy user base. Social networking sites included in the analysis were largely based on the Compete list of top social networks, the total U.S. estimated monthly uniques for the month of April (as reported by Quantcast), and author interest.

No surprises here with MySpace and Facebook at the top. It is interesting to note that Facebook’s user base ranks much higher than MySpace’s user base in terms of wealth and education level.

It is not necessarily a big surprise to see ASmallWorld and LinkedIn at the top of the most educated social network sites given that education level is a strong indicator of earning ability and vice versa. What is surprising is that both Orkut and Friendster are also ranked in the Top 5 Least Wealthiest Social Networking user base list. I’m not sure if this just means Quantcast’s demographic data is way off or that Orkut and Friendster are the mecca for poor scholars.

I hadn’t even heard of Fubar prior to this posting but apparently it boasts itself as the first online bar and happy hour. I was surprised to see Cafemom included among these other sites; it just seems a bit more refined than the others.

ASmallWorld boasts itself as an exclusive invitation-only site for the very wealthy and social elite. These data seem to confirm their owner’s assertions ranking ASmallWorld with the most wealthiest user base and only 5307 monthly unique visitors and 39% of visitors earning over $100k+. Coming in second is LinkedIn with 31% of its visitors earning over $100,000 per year. I also added Twitter to the analysis just for fun and it was quite interesting to see them ranked in the top three of the most wealthiest social networking user base.

Sonico is fairly large fast growing spanish language social networking site that receives nearly 7 million monthly unique visitors from around the world and the majority of its user base makes less than $30,000 (39%) and most have not received any college education (59%).

So what does all this mean exactly? Is a more educated and/or wealthier user base more profitable in terms of the site’s earnings potential per user than a less educated and/or less wealthy user base that has less money to spend? Perhaps it is actually the opposite where the less educated spend more time online and therefore will, based purely on CPM, generate more income for a given site. These questions may be best answered by comparing the user’s average time spent on each site. Traffic analytics from Compete suggest that the less educated users indeed spend the most time on a given site (average minutes per month per user); Fubar and MyYearbook users display a greater average stay time than the most wealthy (ASmallWorld, LinkedIn), least wealthy (Sonico), and most educated (ASmallWorld, LinkedIn) social networking site user bases.