Usability expert Jakob Nielsen and team recently conducted a study on how college students use the Web. There are a number of interesting takeaways from the research but the big one for me was that students aren’t as enraptured by social networking as most people think.
Yes, virtually all students keep one or more tabs permanently opened to social networking services like Facebook. But that doesn’t mean they want everything to be social. Students associate Facebook and similar sites with private discussions, not with corporate marketing. When students want to learn about a company, university, government agency, or non-profit organization they turn to search engines to find that organization’s official website. They don’t look for the organization’s Facebook page. (emphasis added)