How Gray is Social Networking


Back in the day, about 36 months ago, everybody thought nobody over 30 would make much use of social networking.

When I joined Facebook as a marketing experiment, people said “Hey -you’re too old to be on there. Don’t you know Facebook is for kids? Get back over to LinkedIn.”

Today, everybody knows Facebook is for everyone – even great grandma. But, how many Boomers and Seniors really use social networking? Over a year ago I wrote about how boomers boast big social media stats. For an update, let’s turn to a Pew Report about the graying of social media with Boomer and senior usage statistics.

Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social networking sites. Source: Pew Research on Adult Social Media Usage

  • 65% of online adults now say they use a social networking site, up from 61% in 2010 and 29% in 2008 and just 5% in 2005
  • Social networking use among senior internet users over 65 shot up by 150%, from 13% in 2009 to 33% in 2011
  • The number of 50-64 year old Boomer internet users online doubled from 25% in 2009 to 51% in 2011
  • Boomers, ages 50-64, grew daily social networking site usage a significant 60% from 20% to 32% 



This report is based on the findings of a survey on Americans’ use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 26 to May 22, 2011, among a sample of 2,277 adults, age 18 and older. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. Source: Pew Research



How does your personal social networking compare? What do these stats mean to companies?




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