Is Twitter hyped? Research indicates otherwise

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. As regards 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 the AIIM website, www.aiim.org.uk. It is underwritten by Allyis, Ektron, EMC Corporation and Oracle.

About the research

The survey was taken by 789 individual members of the AIIM community between May 11th and May 26th, 2009, using a Web-based tool. Invitations to take the survey were sent via e-mail to a selection of the 65,000 community members.

About AIIM

AIIM (www.aiim.org.uk) is the community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organisations find, control, and optimise their information. For over 60 years, AIIM has been the leading non-profit organisation focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, and business processes. Today, AIIM is international in scope, independent, implementation-focused, and, as the representative of the entire enterprise content management (ECM) industry -including users, suppliers, and the channel – acts as the industry’s intermediary.

About Allyis

Allyis views collaboration solutions as foundational platforms that are instrumental in supporting business operations. We work with clients to develop solutions that incorporate Enterprise 2.0 tools and technologies such as blogs, wikis, tagging and profiling to help drive collaboration, build community, foster knowledge-sharing, streamline work processes and empower decision making.

About Ektron

Founded in 1998, Ektron is committed to providing revolutionary, scalable Web content management and authoring solutions. From enterprise level deployments to single sites, CMS400.NET ships with a wide array of functionality, including social networking, Web 2.0, SEO and synchronization tools. Headquartered in Nashua, N.H., Ektron has more than 20,000 customer implementations worldwide, including LG, Sony and Johnson & Johnson. For more information, visit: www.ektron.com.

About EMC Corporation

EMC Corporation is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organisations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. The EMC Documentum family of enterprise content management solutions provides a comprehensive, fully-unified software platform to manage and leverage content in a cost-effective, controlled manner, providing secured access and re-use across the enterprise.

About Oracle

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world’s largest business software company. For more information about Oracle, please visit our Web site at http://www.oracle.com.

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