Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Older adults taking to social media in a big, and growing, way says study

Magazine editors and publishers will be interested to learn of recent research on how the older generation (often dismissed as slow to adopt and resistant to change) is glomming onto social media. It could have significant implications for publishing decisions about magazine related websites, Twitter and other services. 
The study for the Pew Research Center (reported by MediaPost) shows that the number of adults 50-64 using social networking sites has doubled in one year, from 10% to 20%. And 13% of adults 65 and older log onto a social networking sites on a typical day, whereas only 4% did a year ago. 
Mary Madden, senior research specialist and author of the report, says 
"Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users... Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications."
The summary of the research, by the Pew Research Center, is available for download as a pdf.
A Typical Day: Where Social Media Use Fits In (% of Age Group)
Activity
18-29
30-49
50-64
65+
Send or read email
62%
67%
60%
55%
Get news
44
45
42
34
Do any banking online
27
30
22
19
Social networking site
60
39
20
13
Use online classifieds
14
13
6
5
Twitter or status update service
18
9
6
3
Source: Pew Research Center's 2010 Tracking Survey, August 2010

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