Herman: Why Gen-Y Prefers Facebook to Porn

SAI contributor Darren Herman is an entrepreneur and startup adviser based in New York. Darren writes the eponymous Darren Herman.  Here, he addresses a mystery that has confounded researchers for ages: why Gen Y folks prefer Facebook to porn.

Pornography and gambling are still killer apps for the web, but in a recent article on Time.com, Bill Tancer notes that social networks have eclipsed them, especially for Generation Y:

Visits to porn sites have dropped from 16.9% of all site visits in the U.S. in October 2005 to 11.9% as of last week, a 33% decline. Currently, for web users over the age of 25, Adult Entertainment still ranks high in popularity, coming in second, after search engines. Not so for 18- to 24-year-olds, for whom social networks rank first, followed by search engines, then web-based e-mail — with porn sites lagging behind in fourth.

Muhammed Saleem also touches upon this trend:  

It seems that social-networking sites have not only usurped porn in popularity, but they’ve also gobbled up time Gen Y-ers used to spend on traditional e-mail and IM. When you can reach all of your friends through Facebook or MySpace, there’s little reason to spend time in your old-school inbox.

This is easy to understand.  Gen Y-ers grew up on email, IM, and instantaneous interaction. Like other consumers, Gen-Yers are also inherently lazy and prefer the convenience of having everything together in a single app.  Email and IM aren’t going away, but, for this generation, neither is Facebook.  Meanwhile, for you old fogies out there, there’s always vivid.com.

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