Seniors Presence on Social Media Doubles

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The Pew Internet & American Life Project  finds social networking usage between April 2009 and May 2010:

  • Grew 88% among users aged 55-64
  • 65 and older group’s  presence grew 100%
  • Users aged 50 and older increased usage from 22% to 42%
  • 47% of 50-64 year-old users indicate they use social media
  • 26% of those over 65 indicated they use social media


Facebook and LinkedIn are the main social media sites this more mature crowd frequents.

By Erik Qualman

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Image Sources:  sevencpartnering, eMarketer


15 responses to “Seniors Presence on Social Media Doubles

  1. Using SMS as a marketing tool. I think this is a brilliant idea, Scott. As one of the text generation, most of my life is on the cell phone. In this small rectangle gadget, my social relationships, daily scheduling, fun entertainment, even weather information reside. Thus, I am definitely interested in receiving text messages from companies as long as their information is useful and fun to me. Since last month, Shoesholic (online personal shopping page) has sent me text messages (about new items, discounts information that I may be interested in) on a weekly basis and I love those personalized texts. It makes me feel connected with the company. As you mentioned, it sounds quite difficult to send the right messages to individuals. Yet, SMS is a much more powerful marketing tool than e-mail in terms of accessibility.

  2. Eric, this is really interesting . I have seen a big change in the attitudes of businesses (local) in the past 6 months. The internet laggards who did not see the need for a website and who are most typically in their 40s and 50s are suddenly deciding their businesses need a presence on Facebook. Somehow social media has offered them a way in and helped them overcome fears or inadequacy.

  3. Aloha,
    Would you please let me know if you will come to Maui?

  4. Since the baby boomers are entering their retirement years, their embracement of social media is not all that suprising. They have the time for it and desire for social connection. What I find interesting is wondering whether this will increase the current life expectancy for a senior as it has been shown that the more a senior has social interaction, the longer the life. Viva social media!

  5. I think this trend is starting to show a close in the “digital divide.” As more elderly people have access to the internet, they start to obtain the skills and tools needed to gain access and participate in social networks. But how long will it take for the next “fresh” thing to come along? Will Facebook and Twitter be the next Myspace? It will be interesting to see.

  6. The article linked to the picture stated that young people may shy away from social media as more elderly people become involved in it. Also, many people state that social networking sites should have an age limit and some even suggest not allowing “parents” on Facebook.

    I do wonder what would happen if one day social networking sites actually banned the elderly. What would happen then? Because the young people of today would be the elders of tomorrow.

    Also, on another note, what caused the drop in percentage of users aged 65+ in Nov 2008?

  7. Seniors and middle-aged adults are where these networks must be growing the most these days. Most younger people are already on; I honestly don’t have a single friend my age who isn’t on Twitter or Facebook or both. I wonder what’s driving the growth, more than just the fact that it is going up. Greater awareness of social media? The chance to engage with children, grandchildren, relatives, old friends? That would be interesting reading.

    • Hmm, that is an interesting though. I think that due to people living fast paced individual lives, the only way to communicate often is through social media. Plus I think it’s like a new fad and a way of feeling included without actually having to involve oneself personally in another persons life.

      • I think you are on the right track with that. But I do not social media is not a fad. Social media is becoming a way of life, business, and culture. It is something that is permeating every aspect of life and continues to impact the world daily. With billions spent on advertising in social media in the United States and across the world, it is something that people will be using for years and years to come.

        People stay in the loop socially, politically, relationally, and economically via social media. Theoretically, it would be possible for a business to function without a website and just a killer social media campaign, though I do not recommend it!


  8. This is so cool that old people get into the modern stuff also, my unqle that is not so old, but still.. is getting to know the internet also and I feel great for him.

  9. I wonder what would happen if people in there teens and twenties stopped using social media? Would we see a decline in all other age groups? I think we would see a dip.

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