Pew: Nearly 50 MM Americans Create Web Content

  |  May 30, 2006   |  Comments

User-generated content has moved beyond the Internet elite as high-speed connectivity reaches more U.S. households.

At home broadband users are more likely to create and post user-generated content on the Web, according to the "Home Broadband Adoption 2006," a report published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Forty-eight million American adults have contributed some form of user-generated content on the Internet, it found. That's 35 percent of Internet users. Of those adults who have posted content on the Web, 73 percent, or 31 million, have a broadband connection at home.

"[The Web is] shifting now to user-generated content; it shows people engaging with the Internet in a number of different ways in their lives," said John Horrigan, associate director of research at Pew Internet & American Life Project. "It shows that people are pretty interested in using the technology to put something of themselves on the Internet, not just pull down information from the Internet."

Earlier studies on broadband conducted by Pew characterized the small contingent of content creators as the "broadband elite," but its new research shows the group has grown and diversified.

"Online content comes more often from younger people, but we do find that older people are sharing photos and videos," said Horrigan. "It's disseminated fairly evenly throughout the broadband population at this point."

The demographic makeup of content creators is less defined than in previous studies. Forty-six percent of respondents who live in households with incomes of less than $50,000 have put content on the Web. That compares to 41 percent of respondents in the over $50,000 demographic. Fifty-one percent of respondents under the age of 30 have posted some sort of content on the Web. Thirty-six percent of those over 30 with a high-speed connection have done some form of posting.

"There is an element of the Internet being the medium for creativity and the Internet being an outlet for creativity people bring to the Worldwide Web," according to the report. It considers blogging, Web site creation, contribution of work on Web pages or blogs and submissions of artwork, photos, stories or videos as user-generated online content.


Enid Burns

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