Twitter makes an impact on younger workers

Underneath all the hype about Twitter, evidence is emerging that it can bring genuine value when used in the business environment, particularly for the younger generation. Business-to-business industry researcher AIIM found that 27% of 18-30 year-olds agree that Twitter is an important rapid-feedback tool for business use, compared to only 7% of those over 45. Users feel it gives them unprecedented access to answers from experts, and they find it useful for running mini polls, sharing opinions during conferences and events, and making contacts whilst travelling. In total, 34% of the survey population has a Twitter account.

The survey also found that business users of Twitter are much more engaged than personal users, with half of the business users actively contributing and posting, rather than merely following. 55% of users feel it has given them a useful insight into other professional's lives and businesses. However, even among committed users, there is a concern that Twitter might steal too much of their time, with 74% using it during working hours.

"We've been tracking the rapid growth of Enterprise 2.0 - the business use of social media - for a couple of years," comments Atle Skjekkeland, VP of AIIM, "but Twitter has grown much faster than anything we've seen before. It seems to me that Twitter brings back such quick answers from any expert community that it cannot fail to have a lasting place within the general business toolbox."

The AIIM survey, which polled 788 respondents, indicates that LinkedIn is twice as popular as Facebook for business networking, with over 50% of participants having an account. Two thirds feel that professional networking on the web is vital to their career progression - even more so in the current difficult times. Pressure is growing on IT departments to replicate social networking tools within the work environment, with a third expecting to use the same type of networking tools with their business colleagues as they do with friends and family, and 71% finding it easier to locate knowledge on the web than it is to find it on internal systems.

The AIIM research report is entitled "Collaboration and Enterprise 2.0: work meets play or the future of business?" Part of the AIIM Industry Watch series, the report is free to download from www.aiim.org.uk.

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