The tweet smell of celebrity success: Explaining variation in Twitter adoption among a diverse group of young adults

Eszter Hargittai*, Eden Litt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations

Abstract

What motivates young adults to start using the popular microblogging site Twitter? Can we identify any systematic patterns of adoption or is use of the service randomly distributed among internet users of this demographic? Drawing on unique longitudinal data surveying 505 diverse young American adults about their internet uses at two points in time (2009, 2010), this article looks at what explains the uptake of Twitter during the year when the site saw considerable increase in use. We find that African Americans are more likely to use the service as are those with higher internet skills. Results also suggest that interest in celebrity and entertainment news is a significant predictor of Twitter use mediating the effect of race among a diverse group of young adults. In contrast, interest in local and national news, international news, and politics shows no relationship to Twitter adoption in this population segment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-842
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Twitter
  • adoption
  • celebrities
  • diffusion
  • interests
  • longitudinal
  • race
  • social media
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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