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15-year-old intern dismisses Twitter as "pointless"

Rebecca Thomson

A 15-year-old intern at investment bank Morgan Stanley has generated a flurry of interest after writing a research note on teenagers' use of Twitter .

Matthew Robson, an intern from a London school, was asked by European analysts to write a report on the likes and dislikes of teenagers.

He said most teenagers are heavily active on social networking sites, but added: "Teenagers do not use Twitter. Most have signed up to the service, but then just leave it as they realise that they are not going to update it (mostly because texting Twitter uses up credit, and they would rather text friends with that credit). They realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless."

The bank sent out copies of the report to their clients, saying it was one of the "clearest and thought-provoking insights we have seen".

The interest generated has been criticised by some however. Social software consultant Suw Charman-Anderson said the City and media had got "over-excited" by the note.

"He has written a very well thought out piece which describes the media habits of him and his friends. But one has to put this research note into context. This is one teen describing his experience. It is not a reliable description of all teens' attitudes and behaviours," said Charman-Anderson.

Wendy Tan-White, founder of internet hosting company Moonfruit, said the note's conclusions did not tally with the results of their recent Twitter marketing campaign, through which the company reached a much younger audience.


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