According to the latest research from Pew Research, users of social networking websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are getting older.
OK, so yes, we’re all getting older. Therefore if we’re using social networking websites, users are, ergo, getting older. Perhaps I should have rephrased that. The average age of users on social networking websites is getting older. There, that’s better.
The research states that more users over the age of 50 are using social networking websites to keep in touch with their relatives and to catch up with old friends who they haven’t seen for a long time. Fifty plus surfers are logging on and using websites to stay in touch, and to find assistance on medical matters. The number of ‘silver surfers’ on social networking websites has in fact doubled in the last 12 months.
The research states that 42% of the silver surfers surveyed, some 2,252, stated they were regular users of social networking websites. Only 22% of those surveyed in 2009 purported to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The report commented:
“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.”
“Although email continues to be the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, many now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”
While there may be more seniors using social networking websites, the scene is still very much the domain of the young – with 86% of Internet users aged between 18 and 29 stating they use Facebook and the other social networking websites on a regular basis.
As mentioned earlier however, it is the older generation that is increasing in its use of social networking over the young (or are we just all getting older) as there has been an increase in social networking activity for users aged between 50 to 64 by 84%. The younger age bracket meanhile has seen its use of social networking websites increase by just 13%.
With a more mature audience now using the Internet, and social networking in particular, this should change the way you look at your website’s SEO if you’re aiming at an older market. With seniors embracing the Internet in such large numbers, perhaps it’s time you did too?