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BizReport : Social Marketing : February 09, 2009

Is Facebook going gray?

Barbie's not the only 50 year old woman to join in the fun on Facebook. Along with the iconic doll, many older women are logging on to the social networking phenomenon.

by Helen Leggatt

facebook logo.gifFacebook is getting grays - not hairs but people, older women in particular. In fact, women aged 55 and over were the fastest growing U.S. demographic on Facebook over the last few months.

Since September, 2008, the number of women aged 55 and over has almost tripled to more than 717,000 - a growth of just over 175%. According to Inside Facebook's latest figures, the number of women over 55 on Facebook is almost double the number of men of the same age.

The average Facebook user is also getting older as the social networking site turns five. It is anything but the domain of college students and teens. Almost a quarter of U.S. members are now aged 35 and over and 45% are 26 plus. Those aged 18 to 25 make up 43% of users, while teenagers, often assumed to be the dominant demographic, account for just 12%.

Despite the enormous growth experienced by older demographics in recent months, those aged 55 and over still only account for 3% of the total active user base.

Perhaps some of the recently joined women were among the first little girls to play with the world's most famous doll? If so, they might join in the birthday celebrations online. In an effort to appeal to three generations of Barbie, who turns 50 this year, Mattel intends to give the plastic fashionista her very own Facebook page as part of a large multi-media campaign to celebrate.

Tags: Barbie, birthday, demographics, Facebook, gray, graying, social networking, women

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  • Peter Horn

    You mean my 82 year old Mom and her friends are not alone?



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