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A New AP-CNBC Poll Examines Investor Sentiment Around the Upcoming Twitter IPO

Monday, 4 Nov 2013 | 9:37 AM ET

FINDINGS SHOW THAT CLOSE TO FIFTY PERCENT OF AMERICANS DO NOT THINK THE MICRO-BLOGGING SITE WOULD BE A GOOD INVESTMENT

MORE THAN 4 IN 10 TWITTER USERS HAVE NOTICED PROMOTED CONTENT ON THE SITE AND A MAJORITY OF THEM 'LURK' RATHER THAN 'TWEET'

LESS THAN HALF OF AMERICANS SAY THAT FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LINKEDIN, PINTEREST, GOOGLE AND INSTAGRAM WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN FIVE YEARS

Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 4, 2013- Just days ahead of the much-anticipated Twitter IPO, a new AP-CNBC poll finds that investors have a skeptical outlook on whether investing in the social media company is a good idea, as well as its prospects for long-term success. Key findings include:

  • Forty percent of active investors say Twitter would be a good investment, while 49 percent say it would not. This is a significant contrast to sentiment leading into the Facebook IPO. In May 2012, an AP-CNBC poll found that 54 percent of active investors thought Facebook would be a good investment, 38 percent said that it would not.
  • A little over a third of Americans (36 percent) believe buying stock in Twitter would be a good investment, 47 percent say it would not be a good investment. In May 2012, an AP-CNBC poll found that 51 percent said they thought Facebook would be a good investment, 31 percent believed it would not.
  • The survey finds that younger adults and those with a higher income are least apt to see the company as a good investment. Fifty-two percent of people age 18-34 say that Twitter would not be a good place to put your money. Fifty-six percent of people with incomes above $75,000 per annum say it's not a good place to invest.
  • Nineteen percent of Americans surveyed have a favorable impression of Twitter. In May 2012, an AP-CNBC poll found that 27 percent viewed the Twitter positively.
  • Forty-seven percent of Americans view Facebook favorably. In May 2012, an AP-CNBC poll found that 51 percent of Americans had a positive view of the Facebook.
  • Among account holders and Twitter users, more than 4 in 10 say they have noticed promoted content, and 31 percent who have seen it say they've actually clicked on it.
  • The poll finds broad skepticism about social media's staying power in general, with less than half of Americans saying that any of the six social networks surveyed had a high likelihood of success in five-years' time.
  • Only 35 percent surveyed say Twitter is very likely to be successful in five years. Active investors are more positive on the company's prospects, with 42 percent believing the company will have success in five years.
  • Younger Americans and men are more positive on Twitter's chances for success in the coming years. About half of younger Americans (46 percent of those under age 35) say the company will be a success five years down the road. Among men, 41 percent say Twitter will be a success in five years,
  • Facebook fared the best out of all social media companies included in the poll. Fifty-four percent of active investors state that the company would be successful in five years. Americans agree, with 49 percent of them seeing Facebook being successful in the next five years.
  • Americans do not have as much faith in the outlook for LinkedIn (18 percent), Pinterest (23 percent) or Instagram (24 percent), but 33 percent do believe that Google will be successful five years from now.
  • Among active investors and those with higher incomes, LinkedIn fares much better than among those who are not active investors.
  • Women are more apt to foresee success for Pinterest (28 percent among women vs. 19 percent among men).


About 3 in 10 Americans say they have a Twitter account or have looked at another person or company's Twitter feed. Seventeen percent say they use the site at least once a week. Frequent Twitter users are more likely to be male than female (54 percent are men vs. 46 percent women), half are under age 35 (50 percent age 18 to 34, 22 percent 35 to 49, 18 percent 50 to 64, and 9 percent age 65 or older).

Reasons to use Twitter and frequency of use varies greatly among those surveyed:

  • Among account holders, a quarter say they use the site at least daily to send tweets, 35 percent visit daily to read what others are tweeting and 22 percent do both on a daily basis.
  • About half (54 percent) of those who either have a Twitter account or use Twitter to read others tweets are "lurkers," that is, they never send tweets of their own.
  • Nearly sixty percent of frequent Twitter users turn to the service to follow breaking news.
  • About half of frequent Twitter users follow Twitter while watching live TV or a sporting event. Forty-seven percent say they use Twitter while watching live TV and 46 percent use it while watching sporting events.
  • Just 13 percent who use Twitter at least weekly say they turn to Twitter to find information about services of products most of the time, 16 percent do so to express dissatisfaction with a product or service.

Complete poll results are available at http://www.cnbc.com/twitter.

Methodology:

The Associated Press-CNBC Poll was conducted Oct. 25-27, 2013 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,006 adults nationwide and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.

About CNBC:

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Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site athttp://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/cnbc/

About AP:

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org.