August 9, 2013

Data point: American seniors take to social networking

Posted by: in North America

Over the past eight years, the percentage of online American adults who use social networking sites has zoomed from 8 percent to 72 percent, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. Twitter use specifically has risen from 8 percent in November 2010 to 18 percent as of last May. While younger generations are the most enthusiastic about social media, adoption is growing among older Internet users: Over the last four years, usage among people 65 and up has more than tripled, to 43 percent today. And Reuters reports that Facebook is the most popular platform by far for seniors, while LinkedIn use is surging among younger generations.

Recent Google research finds a higher penetration of social media among seniors, with 59 percent saying they access Facebook, Twitter or Google+ daily. The Google study also found that seniors spend more time online than watching TV in an average week. As the lure of social media helps drive up the time that Americans across generations spend online, we’ll see more advertisers follow P&G in dedicating more substantial budgets to digital media, and apportioning more of those budgets to targeting older consumers. One example: Pfizer has been pushing its Get Old initiative, Celebrating Aging via Facebook and Twitter.

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