Social Media, not just for kids anymore

According to Pew Internet & American Life

Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled—from 22% to 42% over the past year.

Consistently reports are showing that age is a factor in broadband adoption – so it’s exciting to see any increase in use in that demographic. Although just as the definition of broadband is important – so is the definition of age. Lots of readers might not think of 50 as a cut off for old, older or elderly. Still it’s nice to see the increase. Here’s Pew’s take on it…

However, even though older adults may be among the most resistant to broadband, there is evidence that once these users get a taste of high-speed access, they often come to rely on the internet as an everyday utility in their lives. While the rates of broadband adoption among the oldest users are low, the frequency of use among those who do have high-speed access is relatively close to the usage levels of younger users.

And here are some of the other quick numbers from the report that were interesting…

  • Half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one in four (26%) users age 65 and older now use social networking sites.
  • One in ten (11%) online adults ages 50-64 and one in twenty (5%) online adults ages 65 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.
  • Email and online news are still more appealing to older users, but social media sites attract many repeat visitors.

Or in the spirit of promoting social media, here’s the latest version of Social Media Revolution 2. Thanks to John Shepard for the heads up on the latest iteration. I posted the original clip last winter; it was fun to see the updates and advanced adoption since then.

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, New Media, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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