It’s official: Grandma is on Facebook. The number of adults who regularly use social networking sites has skyrocketed since 2005, and the 65 and older age group is showing remarkably fast gains over the past few years, according to Folio:’s Arti Patel.
A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project shows what a dramatic difference a few years has made in use of online social media communities like Facebook and Twitter.
Patel reports that not only are 72% of all online adults using social networks, “older Americans are staking claim to a piece of the social media pie.”
Patel pulls out key findings of the Pew study, including these (somewhat surprising) facts:
- Social media use in the 65+ age group has tripled in the past four years, with 43% of this age group now using social media compared to 13% in 2009.
- While the user base of Twitter remains concentrated in the young adult age demographic, older adults are adopting that platform as well.
This may mean a change in the way marketers and publishers approach their online content strategy. Until recently many marketers assumed that targeted the older demographic on social media was a waste of time and resources. This new research may prove us wrong.
What we don’t yet know is exactly how they are using social media, and if this demographic will be viable for prospecting via social media advertising. But at the very least, content publishers need to recognize that an increasingly more mature demographic may be consuming their online messages. Maybe Facebook is growing up.