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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 11, 2010

AARP: Net-savvy, social networking seniors prefer Facebook

As someone who has recently gone further back in my family history thanks to several octogenarian and nonagenarian Facebook users, I can certainly agree with the recent findings of AARP which show ageing Americans to be Internet savvy and social.

by Helen Leggatt

According to Kevin Donnellan, chief communications officer at AARP, boomers have embraced social networking and more than a quarter (27%) of all Americans age 50 and over are logging on to the likes of Twitter and MySpace.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook was found to be the most popular (23%) by the U.S.-based non-governmental organization and interest group for retired people.

"They are using the Internet to keep up with the world and the people who are important to them," said Jean Koppen, the author of the report.

Almost three-quarters are connected to relatives other than children or grand-children, 62% are connected to their children and 36% are connected to grandchildren. Of those over 50s who were recommended a social network by a family member, 63% were via a son or daughter.

The AARP survey also revealed that around 40% of adults aged 50 and above say they are very comfortable using the Internet. Most aren't using laptops, 57% of seniors surveyed say they use desktop setups to log on.

However, despite the popularity of the Internet among the over 50s, print newspapers and magazine are still their preferred source for news. Only 1% said they followed blogs.

Tags: Boomers, seniors, social networking

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