Google+ Consumer Psyche: Is social networking aging?

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is social networking aging?

What do you think the average age of a MySpace and Facebook user is? Perhaps 16 for MySpace and 22 for Facebook?

According to AdAge, new reports from comScore suggest that over 50% of American Facebook users, and 44% of MySpace users, are actually over 35 years old. It goes further to confirm the largest age demographic on both of these social media platforms is now between 35 and 44.

Facebook, which has close to 170 million users worldwide, is difficult to ignore as a marketing channel. Sure it’s full of noise and static and there are faster paying channels, but for sheer scale of opportunity it’s a tempting part of any digital marketing strategy. Add to this the fact that Facebook says its fastest-growing age group is 55+ and there’s a whole new range of products and services that could find traction where before they would have fallen on deaf ears. Not convinced yet? Pew Internet and American Life released a report stating that of all American adults aged between 18-24, approximately 75% of them have a social networking profile.

So what does this mean for marketers?

Marketing on social networking sites isn’t easy, especially if you plan on actively engaging your target demo as opposed to banners and PPC ads, but the wider idea that the older generation are flocking to online networking is increasingly important to consider when putting together your social media marketing strategy, especially if you’re in an industry where your competitors are still using traditional media.
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