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Twitter 'unknown' to 75 percent of Swedes

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Twitter 'unknown' to 75 percent of Swedes
15:30 CET+01:00
Three out of four Swedes say they don't know Twitter, a new survey has found, but many nevertheless believe the social media channel has a lot of influence in Swedish society.

Despite the increased attention paid to Twitter by the traditional media, as well as the rising number of prominent journalists and politicians who actively tweet, only 24 percent of Swedes say they are well acquainted with Twitter.

In addition, 75 percent of Swedes answered "not at all" or "not especially well" to the question of how well they knew Twitter.

The findings comes from a recently published survey carried out by the SIFO polling firm at the request of Welcom and the MedieAkademin media forum.

Nevertheless, eight out of ten Swedes believe that what is discussed and debated on Twitter has a large impact on what and how issues are debated in Sweden, the survey found.

"Twitter has a reputation of being a place where a lot of power brokers are active, but there are still relatively few Swedes who see it as a place for them to engage," digital media consultant Adam Wladis of the Welcom PR firm told The Local.

"A lot is written about Twitter in the traditional media in Sweden, so people do have a vague awareness that something is happening there, but so far the broader population isn't really getting involved."

The survey also found that 91 percent report being uninterested in Twitter, despite the recognition that it plays an increasingly prominent role in shaping public opinion.

"I think the lack of interest would best be interpreted as a lack of understanding," said Wladis.

"Swedes don't seem to have fully grasped the potential Twitter has for giving them a voice in public debate."

Currently, around 200,000 Swedes have Twitter accounts, compared to the roughly 4 million Swedes who use Facebook, but Wladis expected the figure to climb as more Swedes became aware of how to use the microblogging site.

"There is a lot happening, but it won't happen overnight," he said.

The survey is based on 774 responses to web-based questions and was carried out between March 1-2, 2012.

Editor's Note:This article has been updated in order to correct what could have been construed as a misleading formulation of the survey results.

David Landes

twitter.com/davelandes

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