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QuickWire: Celebrity Gossip Is Biggest Draw for Students Using Twitter

A new survey of college students shows that only about 17 percent of them use Twitter, and those interested in celebrity and entertainment news are the ones most likely to go to the service. That’s according to a study to be published in New Media & Society. African-American students were found to be more likely than white students to use the microblogging service, but the biggest predictor of Twitter use was an interest in celebrity gossip. About 500 students at the University of Illinois at Chicago participated in the study, answering surveys in 2009, when they were freshmen, and again in 2010. The researchers, from Northwestern University, also found that students from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds were much less likely to use Twitter than others, pointing to a new kind of digital divide. Would that be called a Twitter gap?

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