Facebook is the clear favourite social networking site among students and graduates.
A survey by graduate recruitment website Milkround.com has revealed nearly every student and graduate has a Facebook profile – some 98 percent. This is far ahead of other popular sites such as MySpace (43 percent), Twitter (38 percent) and Bebo (25 percent). When asked which social networking site they used the most, 92 percent of more than 100 students and graduates quizzed said Facebook. The nearest rival was Twitter with seven percent using the short message broadcast service.
Any thoughts of finding work is far from the minds of students and graduates when they are social networking: just 17 percent use LinkedIn, the website favoured by professionals for keeping in touch with their business contacts, while more than three quarters (78 percent) only use their profiles for social networking.
Some 18 percent claim to use their profiles for both job hunting and socialising, two contrasting activities which can be off-putting to recruiters who Facebook applicants and find them tagged in drunken photos. However, just 13 percent said they had an open profile: 86 percent keep their profiles as private as possible or particular elements private. Three percent have two profiles: one for socialising, another for job hunting.
Milkround.com spokesperson Mike Barnard said: "Facebook is the social networking site every student and graduate wants to have a profile on, a far cry from five years ago when it seemed they all wanted a MySpace page. Nothing seems to be challenging Facebook's social supremacy, however job seekers are switching on to the fact they can’t be active on Facebook and hope recruiters don't search for them. With 86 percent using the privacy settings to hide elements of their profile, they are ensuring any potential embarrassing or job-threatening social networking is safely hidden from view."
Google's entry into the social networking market is via Google Wave, an invite-only service yet to receive a full release. Despite the popularity of Google, two thirds of the students and graduates surveyed by Milkround.com had not heard of Google Wave. However, when asked whether they are interested in using the new communication tool, one in 10 said they were "very interested" and three in five said they were "quite interested". Just a quarter (24 percent) said they "weren't interested" while six percent were already registered with Google Wave.
With Twitter now very much a part of the social networking spectrum and Google Wave on the horizon, 84 percent of graduates agree social networking is on the rise.
Mike added: "The future of social networking is being forged by fresh developments on existing sites as well as totally new concepts such as Google Wave. The novelty of social networking may have worn off, but the enthusiasm remains."