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18-24 Year-olds Rank Facebook Ahead of Google, Twitter on Privacy [SURVEY]

Jim Tobin.
By: Jim Tobin  |   February 18, 2013  |   View Comments

Every time Facebook turns around they are getting skewered over privacy concerns, but a new survey conducted by Ignite Social Media finds that 18-24 year-olds rate Facebook ahead of Google and Twitter in terms of being "concerned about your privacy," although those over 45 give a slight edge to Google.

Close Battle Between Google and Facebook, Twitter Last

When asked:

How concerned do you feel the following company is about your privacy?

on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not concerned" 5 being "very concerned," 18-24 year olds in the U.S. rated:

  • Google.com, 2.7
  • Facebook.com, 2.8
  • Twitter.com, 2.3

On the same scale, those over 45 years old gave a slight edge to Google, with Twitter coming in last:

  • Google.com, 3.1
  • Facebook.com, 3.0
  • Twitter.com, 2.7

Google | 18-24 Year-olds

Facebook | 18-24 Year-olds

Twitter | 18-24 Year-olds

Google | 45+ Year-olds

Facebook | 45+ Year-olds

Twitter | 45+ Year-olds

Geographic and Gender Differences

We saw some interesting differences in answers among certain groups.

  • Those in urban areas were generally more skeptical (2.6 average) than those who lived in suburban areas (3.0 average).
  • Women were generally more trusting as well (3.2) than men (2.7).
  • The U.S. Midwest was more trusting (2.9) than the U.S. South (2.5).
  • Even among women, those in suburban areas were more trusting (3.1) than woman in urban areas (2.7).

Why Did Twitter Get Slammed?

The data provides no insights on why Twitter fared worse than Google and Facebook despite significant privacy concerns being leveled at each of the latter two. So, this is pure speculation on my part. But given Twitter's inherently open nature (protected accounts are a very small percentage of accounts), the perception that you can't effectively protect your own privacy on Twitter (that Tweeting is, almost by definition, a public act) could be a factor.

Methodology

The survey was conducted by Ignite Social Media via Google Consumer Surveys in November 2012. Each question had 199 responses, split evenly among the 18-24 year-old demographic and those among the 45+ demographic. This is one point of survey research and as always when interpreting survey data and other research, it's important to reference multiple research sets.


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