WASHINGTON, DC – 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. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project survey.
- Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50‐64 grew by 88%–from 25% to 47%.
- During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%–from 13% to 26%.
- By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%.
“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist for the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and author of the report. “Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”
- One in five (20%) online adults ages 50‐64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago.
- Among adults ages 65 and older, 13% log on to social networking sites on a typical day, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.
At the same time, the use of status update services like Twitter has also grown—particularly among those ages 50-64. One in ten internet users ages 50 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.
- Just 5% of users ages 50‐64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, and 11% now say they use these tools.
- On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50‐64 make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.
“Social media has the potential to bridge generational gaps. There are few other spaces—online or offline—where tweens, teens, sandwich generation members, grandparents, friends and neighbors regularly intersect and communicate across the same network,” said Madden.
- Half of American adults 65 & older are now online
- Half of U.S. adults now use social networking sites
- Who uses Twitter on which devices? Pew knows
- One in ten adults blog, teens, young adults losing interest
- Pew Internet: 8 percent of Americans online use Twitter
© 2010, TechJournal. All rights reserved.