New study examines who uses Twitter and how

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Young adults, African-Americans, Latinos, and urbanites are more active tweeters than the average Twitter user, according to a study released Thursday.

The social media site, which limits users to 140-character posts, is now the subject of a significantly lengthier analysis by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, which looks at who uses Twitter and how they use it. The study is the first conducted by Pew to focus solely on Twitter, excluding other social networking sites.

According to the study, Twitter is used by 8 percent of adults who are online, a population that compromises 6 percent of all adults. Those who fall into the 18 to 29 age range use Twitter much more than older adults, and African-Americans and Hispanics are “more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white internet users.” People who live in urban locations are about twice as likely to use the site as their rural counter parts.

“Women and the college-educated” also fall into the category of those with an above average likelihood of using the site.

The study showed that while 24 percent of users check Twitter multiple times each day, an almost equal number — 21 percent — never check the site at all.

Pew also examined the ways in which people use Twitter, determining that most people use Twitter to do one of four things: “post updates related to their personal life, activities or interests,” “post updates related to their work life, activities or interests,” “share links to news stories,” or “post humorous or philosophical observations about life in general.”

Tweeting about one’s personal life was the most common, with 72 percent of users saying they did so, and one in five responding that they did so at least once a day.