September 29th, 2010
42% of Internet Users Ages 50 and Older now use Social Networks
Here is an interesting fact, according to Pewter Research Center social networking use among Internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled — from 22% to 42% over the past year. While social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, older users have been especially enthusiastic over the past year about embracing new networking tools. Although email continues to be the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, many users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications — sharing links, photos, videos, news and status updates with a growing network of contacts. Half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one-in-four (26%) users ages 65 and older now use social networking sites.
Half of online adults ages 50-64 and one-in-four wired seniors now count themselves among the Facebooking and LinkedIn masses. That’s up from just 25% of online adults ages 50-64 and 13% of those ages 65 and older who reported social networking use one year ago in a survey conducted in April 2009.
Social networking websites have become increasingly popular among all Americans since their inception, but in the past year older adults have been especially likely to sign up to connect and communicate with their family and friends online. Between April 2009 and May 2010, the number of online adults ages 50 and older on social networking sites nearly doubled, growing from 22% to 42%. Nearly half (47%) of all internet-using adults ages 50-64 are on social networking sites, as are a quarter (26%) of those ages 65 and older, up from 25% and 13% a year ago, respectively. The growth rate of younger adults on social networking sites pales in comparison — but from a far higher base. Young adults are still far more likely to be on a social networking site. Nearly all online adults ages 18-29 use social networking sites, as do 61% of internet users ages 30-49.
Young adult internet users ages 18-29 continue to be the heaviest users of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, with 86% saying they use the sites. However, over the past year, their growth paled in comparison with the gains made by older users. Between April 2009 and May 2010, internet users ages 50-64 who said they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn grew 88% and those ages 65 and older grew 100% in their adoption of the sites, compared with a growth rate of 13% for those ages 18-29.
This is clearly telling you that if you are not on a social network or using social networks for your business the time is now to join the wave of all network users.