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Research highlights generation gap in number of friends people claim on social networking sites  
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Young people boast more than 1,000 online friends

New research by Intersperience into the use of social networking sites (SNS) has found that the average 22-year old boasts more than 1,000 online friends - more than 50 times as many as the average user in their early 50s.

SNS users in their 20s emerged as the demographic claiming the largest number of friends while the over 50s have the least friends, ranging between zero and 20.

The research showed a clear link between the age of the user and the number of SNS friends, with the most youthful adult users having the greatest and numbers of online friends declining in accordance with advancing age.

Additional research into SNS friendships among teenagers (a demographic which has particularly active SNS users) found that 13 to 16-year olds list an average of some 450 friends, with girls having slightly more than boys.

Paul Hudson, CEO of Intersperience commented: “The age differential is very marked when it comes to totting up SNS friendships. Of course, when it comes to measuring friendships, quantity does not necessarily imply quality - the definition of ‘friend’ is often loosely applied in an SNS context, particularly by younger users.”

Intersperience has conducted in depth research into different aspects of how society is adapting to the dawn of the Digital Age, including the forthcoming ‘Digital Selves’ report. 

This research has also been featured in the online edition of the Daily Mail ( http://bit.ly/iD9M4T ) and made the front page of the Daily Telegraph ( http://bit.ly/m15EQH ).

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