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Annenberg Study: 0% Would Pay for Twitter

USC survey finds of nearly 2,000 participants, none would go into their wallets for the popular social messaging service

Would you pay for Twitter? Like hell you would.

According to the results of a study just released by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, exactly 0 (zero!) percent of the the 2010 Digital Future Report’s 1,981 participants said they would consider paying for the popular – and to this point, free — social messaging service.

(See also: Size Doesn't Matter: Why Ebert Beats Oprah on Twitter)

About half of those surveyed in 2009 said they use free "micro-blogs," including Twitter Facebook's status update. But for Twitter specifically, they aren’t willing to pay.

According to Jeffrey Cole, the USC project’s director, such an “extreme” finding “underscores the difficulty of getting Internet users to pay for anything that they already receive for free.”

(See also: The 'Twitter Effect' isn't What Hollywood Thought)

Some other highlights from the study:

>> Half of Internet users never click on Web advertising.

>> Seventy percent said that Internet advertising is "annoying."

>> Yet 55 percent of users said they would rather see Web advertising than pay for content.

>> America Online, literally: “The Internet is used by 82 percent of Americans.”

>> Everyone under the age of 24 is online.

>> Just two percent of respondents have an e-book reader (such as a Kindle — though, remember, this survey was done, pre-iPad, in 2009).

>> The study found that as sources of information, newspapers rank below the Internet or television.

>> Just 56 percent of Internet users ranked newspapers as important or very important sources of information for them – a decrease from 60 percent in 2008 and below the Internet (78 percent), and television (68 percent).

>> Just 29 percent of Internet users consider newspapers a source of entertainment, down from 32 percent in 2008.

>> Eighteen percent of Internet users said they stopped a subscription to a newspaper or magazine because they now get the same or related content online.

>> “Internet users were asked where they would go for information provided by their newspaper if the print edition ceased, 59 percent said they would read the online edition of the publication; only 37 percent said they would instead read the print edition of another newspaper. Twenty-two percent of users who read newspapers said they would not miss the print edition of their newspaper.”

>> Trust in the Web appears to be eroding. Sixty-one percent of users said that only half or less of online information is reliable — a new low level for the project.

>> A relatively high percentage (22 percent) of users say that only one half or less of information on sites they visit regularly is reliable.

>> While 53 percent of Internet users said that most or all of the information provided by search engines is reliable and accurate, that percentage is well below the peak of 64 percent in 2006.

>> Less than half (46 percent) of users surveyed said they have some trust or a lot of trust in the Internet.

>> Nine percent of users have no trust in the Internet.

The full report is available for purchase here.