Old Peoples’…er..Adults’ Use of Social Networking Sites On The Rise


By Jason Kelley
September 27, 2011

Consumer Insights

“For the times they are a-changin’.”

That’s a cultural reference for all the Boomers out there who are using social media sites more than ever. In fact, among the Boomer-aged segment of internet users age 50-64, social networking site usage on a typical day grew a significant 60% (from 20% to 32%).

The frequency of social networking site usage among young adult internet users under age 30 was stable over the last year – 61% of online Americans in that age segment now use social networking sites on a typical day, compared with 60% one year ago.

Overall, two-thirds of adult internet users (65%) say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. That’s more than double the percentage that reported social networking site usage in 2008 (29%). For the first time in Pew Internet surveys it means that half of all adults (50%) use social networking sites. The pace at which new users have flocked to social networking sites has been staggering; when we first asked about social networking sites in February of 2005, just 8% of internet users – or 5% of all adults – said they used them.

What does this mean for marketers?  The social media universe is getting a little gray, and you may want to investigate it as part of the mix if you are targeting Boomers.