23 June 2009

Student Preferences

Just what do young people do online, anyway?

Newly released UK data from Hitwise indicates the three most popular categories of websites amongst university students are -- no big surprise -- social networks, search engines and webmail services.

However, students do visit news sites. In all there were 20 news and sports sites among the top 100. BBC News made the top 10, and BBC Sports was not far behind; Sky Sports also came in at No. 18. The Guardian was the most popular newspaper site, but students also are more likely than the overall UK online population to visit other popular newspaper sites as well, including the Daily Mail and the Times.

Some other findings:

* 26 of the top 100 sites among students are entertainment-focused, with online video and TV particularly well-represented.

* There are eight information sites among the students' top 100, including Wikipedia, a variety of Google properties and Word Reference.

* Twitter is the most over-represented social network amongst students, ranking 22nd overall.

* There are only six retailers in the top 100. eBay UK ranks the highest, but is less popular with students than with the UK online population overall. Students are more likely than older users to visit fashion retailers Topshop and ASOS.

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