Teenagers spend a lot of time on the Internet and social networking sites constitute an important part of their Internet use. Social networking sites are web services that make is easy for the users to create, share and distribute media content. Typical examples include YouTube, Facebook and Nettby. Social networking sites are important for teenagers, as communication channels for establishing social connections, for building networks and for sharing information and experiences. This report is concerned with how teenagers use such new web phenomena and the implication this may have for government administration. Internet is the medium that teenagers use the most. Internet use has now surpassed television as the medium16-19 year-olds use the most. The Internet is used all through the day. Teenagers use the web mostly for communicational purposes. 74% of 16-19 year-olds send and receive e-mail at least once a day, 70% participate in social networking sites at least once a day, and 66% chat via MSN Messenger or related services once or more a day. Teenagers furthermore use the Internet to look for information. 67% use search engines and 64% read online news once or more a day.
Facebook is the most pervasive social networking sites among 16- 19 year-olds. 59% use Facebook at least once a day. On a weekly basis 77% use Facebook. By comparison, Nettby, the largest Norwegian social networking site is used daily by 24% of the young people in this study. Along with the weekly users of Nettby, the numbers rise up to 31%. YouTube also has a large numbers of users, but more on a weekly basis. 71% of the young people use YouTube once or more a week. YouTube is seen as a place for entertainment and adventure more than a social networking site. Most of the people visit social networking sites several times per day, however only for a few minutes each time. The vast majority say they use social networking sites less than half an hour a day. Teenagers move quickly away from social networking sites they get bored off, and they move in herds along with their friends. The main reasons for moving away from social networking sites are that they experience it as boring and that their friends are leaving. Teenagers are attracted by the social networking sites their friends participate in.