social mediaA new survey has revealed that whilst interest in using social networking sites among the public remains generally high, certain sectors of the population have started to cool more than others towards these media.

The survey, carried out by research organisation, Gartner, found that, overall, of the 6,295 respondents, 37% claimed to have increased their use of a favourite social networking site since first subscribing, whilst 24% said they were now using their favourite site less.

However, it was when the researchers correlated the responses with the particular profiles of individuals that identifiable patterns began to emerge.

The survey found, for example, that those who had been among the first to use social media sites when they first appeared on the horizon were now more likely to view these sites with less enthusiasm than those who were more recent converts; a condition described by Gartner as ‘social media fatigue’.

The survey also identified that as many as 31% of those falling in the socioeconomic category of ‘Aspirers’ (younger, relatively mobile and highly brand aware) claimed to be finding their favourite social media site increasingly boring.

Commenting on the findings, Gartner’s research director, Brian Blau, said that those behind social media sites ‘will need to innovate and diversify to keep consumer attention’.

The survey also found that of those subscribers who now used their favourite social media site less frequently than before, 33% expressed privacy concerns. Gartner’s principal research analyst, Charlotte Patrick, has commented that this shows the need for ‘ongoing vigilance for brands concerning customer opt-in and education.’