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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 30, 2009

Older demographics fastest-growing on Facebook

Facebook is now a hotbed of families and fogeys as older generations flood onto the social network, many forming private family groups with relatives and using family tree applications .

by Helen Leggatt

The 18-25 year olds may represent the largest demographic on the social networking behemoth that is Facebook, but the fastest-growing continues to be women aged 55 and over, of which there are around 1.5 million.

The latest figures from Inside Facebook demonstrate its growing popularity among older Internet users. The number of members over the age of 35 nearly doubled in the past two months.

Of course, it must be remembered that Facebook's pioneering members are growing old with the network, which was five years old this year, which does reflect in the figures. Despite this, many still see the site as a newcomer, particularly in business circles, whereas its roots as a college network go back further than its more recent social network darling status.

So, why the rise in older users? Some might argue that it's down to parents embracing technology that their children are using to keep up with what they're doing, while others see it as a natural progression of the adoption cycle.

One thing is for sure, while once it was the college-going kids in the family hooking up, it's now the domain of all family members, so much so that some are setting up their own family groups and plotting family trees using Facebook applications.

Tags: college, demographic, Facebook, families, family tree, older generation, parents, social network

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