According to a recent survey released by Habbo, MySpace and YouTube are more popular amongst the 11 – 19 year old age group than facebook. The study was conducted in April 2009, and surveyed 112,000 teens from over 30 countries. Conspicuously, only 4%, or 4,500 teens were from the US.
According to the Global Habbo Youth Survey brand update 2009, facebook now holds the number 3 spot, up from number 5 last year with US teens. However, globally, YouTube and facebook take the number 1 and 2 spots, respectively, with MySpace coming in at number 4.
Sulake, Finland based parent company of Habbo, which claims close to 12 million unique users globally, with comScore data tallying Habbo at 3 million monthly users in the US, also surveyed teens on their attitudes towards brands. Sulake deliberately excluded Habbo from the response list in order to keep the dataset impartial.
The results are not surprising, with 50 percent of American teens being more brand conscious than any other global group surveyed. American teens felt it’s important to express their individuality, and expect their brands to help them out. Conversely, only 38 percent of global respondents shared the same attitudes towards brands as their American counterparts.
While Habbo makes the vast majority of it’s revenues from the sale of virtual goods via microtransactions, some $74 million in 2008 according to Sulake, the virtual world has stepped up their real world marketing tie ins. In January, the company signed a deal with Fox and Freemantle Media to provide a virtual version of American Idol, complete with in-world avatars of AI contestants.
So here’s the thing. MySpace’s parent company is Fox Media. As mentioned above, conspicuously, only 4 percent of those surveyed were American teens. Granted, while this data is all encompassing, and not solely from the dataset surveyed, a quick compete.com search clearly has facebook blowing both YouTube and MySpace out of the water. Sulake surveyed 112,000 teens from 30 countries. We’re not given specific country by country breakdown numbers, but I would hope that one of the largest consuming countries in the world, not to mention home of all three mentioned, would get a slightly larger slice of the pie than others. And even if American teens were under represented in the numbers, what’s the survey pool? Do all 4,500 of these teens have YouTube, MySpace, and facebook accounts? Again, just looking at the overall compete.com data, something seems a bit skewed here. I’m not saying the Sulake and Habbo data is dead wrong, but given the rise of facebook, and the gradual decline of MySpace, something just seems out of place here.