June 25, 2011

HONG KONG: Friending Grandma - More Likely Than Ever

HONG KONG: / International Business Times / June 24, 2011

By James Lee Phillips 

Photo courtesy: parentesource.com

More reason than ever to get rid of those embarrassing pics and questionable comments -- the studies are more or less consistent about the fact that your grandparents are likely to be using social media.

Comparison of various studies undertaken over the past few years has shown an almost exponential growth in social networking interest and consistent activity among users among more advanced age ranges. The usual interpretation is the 'graying' of the Baby Boomers -- for whom technical sophistication and adoption of cultural trends is far more prevalent than in previous generations.

Between 2007 and 2008, according to eMarketer data, only about 1% more Baby Boomers 'actively maintained' social networking profiles. However, the 2008 and 2009 growth was around 15% (and it breaks down to about about 73% for Facebook, 13% for Twitter and LinkedIn).
In the following year, however, a Pew Internet report lshowed that social networking doubled among the 65-and-older group, and grew about 88% among persons aged 55-64. As far as Pew is considered, this was a marked increase from the study done a year before, which suggested that only one in ten people in the 50+ age range utilized 'status updates' a la Facebook or Twitter.
A more recent UK study paints an even more 'booming' picture for the baby boomers.

According to a study of over 1300 UK grandparents (with no exact age range stated, alas), over one-fifth are using a social network and over half (51%) log in at least once per week (35% say a few times per month is sufficient). Nearly 70% have joined their social media site of choice within the last year -- to find old friends (about 25%), and to maintain the flow of communication with existing friends and family (around 20%).

As far as social media of choice, grandparents are relatively consistent with the rest of the social media-using public: Facebook comes in at 71%, Twitter at 34% and LinkedIn accounts for 9% (professional seniors, perhaps?). These details are courtesy of MyVoucherCodes (secondhand, via Mashable).

James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com.

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