The quiet allure of Stardoll
Those under age 12 have an affinity for entertainment sites, whereas for those age 12-17 it's games sites — and student and video sites for those age 18-22 — according to (pdf) a Nielsen Online study of Britons under age 23 (via MarketingCharts).
- Fashion community site Stardoll has the highest percentage (32 percent) of children under 12 years old among its audience - making it the site with the greatest affinity with that age group.
- Entertainment sites - including Nick, Cartoon Network, the BBC's CBBC and CBeebies and Disney International - dominate the sites with the greatest affinity with children under 12.
"The Internet is very much an entertainment resource for young children, mainly due to how well TV broadcasters such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, the BBC and Disney have adapted and extended their traditional offering to the web," said Alex Burmaster, internet analyst at Nielsen Online.
- Mobile phone social networking site Frengo has the highest percentage (26 percent) of 12-17-year-olds among its audience - making it the site with the greatest affinity with that age group.
- Online games sites - including RuneScape, FreeOnlineGames, AddictingGames and MiniClip - dominate the sites with the greatest affinity with 12-17 year-olds.
"As children hit their teenage years, general entertainment sites tend to make way for games-focused sites, which offer a massive range of easily accessible games and ensure that teenage gaming activity extends far beyond the PS3, Wii and Xbox consoles," Burmaster commented.
- The three sites with the highest concentration of 18-22 year-olds (40 percent) are all student-related - the Student Loans Company, UCAS and Student Finance Direct.
- Sites offering video-related content - such as Sidereel, TV Links, Alluc and Youku - also feature heavily among sites with the greatest affinity with young adults.
"It's interesting to see that the sites with the heaviest concentration of young adults split into two conflicting groups - functional and entertainment. This mirrors the uneasy transition of growing up from teenage years into adulthood and the associated increase in responsibility," Burmaster said.
"Whilst entertainment, mainly through video sites, still has a place, this has been usurped by the need to investigate higher education and financing oneself through it."