Grandma and grandpa are just starting to figure it out. There is more to social networking than an outlet for teenage angst.
A new study from Pew Internet found that social networking usage grew fastest among Internet users 55 and up. Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking site usage grew 88% among Internet users aged 55-64, and the 65 and older group’s social networking presence grew 100% in the same time frame.
Moreover, half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one in four (26%) users age 65 and older now use social networking sites. The growth rate has doubled over a similar study done a year earlier.
Young people still dominate social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn but social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by only 13% to 86%.
Email is still the primary tool older users stay in touch with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications, the report says.
- One in five (20%) online adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago.
- Among adults ages 65 and older, 13% log on to social networking sites on a typical day, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.
At the same time, Twitter use has also grown—particularly among those ages 50-64. One in ten internet users ages 50 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.
What it means is the same people who pooh-poohed these social networking sites as teenage tracking services are now embracing them in ever increasing numbers.
And, it opens up new markets for business looking to reach these wealthy Babyboomers.
Read the full report.