15-year-old analyst sparks storm after trashing Twitter

Schoolboy's assessment of social networking site becomes a big hit with fund managers and CEOs

Barry Collins
13 Jul 2009

A report on teenagers' media habits written by a 15-year-old schoolboy at Morgan Stanley has become an overnight sensation.

Intern Matthew Robson was asked to write a report about his friends' use of technology during his work experience stint with the firm's media analysts.

Team leader Edward Hill-Wood said the report was "one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen," according to a report in the Financial Times, and so decided to publish it.

The report generated "five or six times" more interest than the team's usual reports, according to Hill-Wood. "We've had dozens and dozens of fund managers, and several CEOs, e-mailing and calling all day," he told the newspaper.

The 15-year-old poured scorn on social-networking site of the moment, Twitter, claiming that teenagers don't use it because "they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless".

He also claimed that teens were deserting traditional media such as television and newspapers in favour of advert-free music on sites such as Last.fm and online news sources.

Robson also had bad news for the mobile phone operators, claiming that games consoles have become a more attractive medium for chatting to friends than their phones.

Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

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