Over the past year we’ve seen an increase in interest from community members who are keen to be active on Social Networking sites. The Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) have been running Social Media programmes for adults over the past 2 years and this year they’ve experienced high volumes of participants in all their classes. The interesting fact about this is that the members who were excited about Social networking were those who are 50+ and this is supports the research done by Pew Internet. According to a study by Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist:
“Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled—from 22% to 42% over the past year. While social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, older users have been especially enthusiastic over the past year about embracing new networking tools. Although email continues to be the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, many users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications—sharing links, photos, videos, news and status updates with a growing network of contacts.
Half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one in four (26%) users age 65 and older now use social networking sites.
Half of online adults ages 50-64 and one in four wired seniors now count themselves among the Facebooking and LinkedIn masses. That’s up from just 25% of online adults ages 50-64 and 13% of those ages 65 and older who reported social networking use one year ago in a survey conducted in April 2009. Young adult internet users ages 18-29 continue to be the heaviest users of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, with 86% saying they use the sites. However, over the past year, their growth paled in comparison with the gains made by older users. Between April 2009 and May 2010, internet users ages 50-64 who said they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn grew 88% and those ages 65 and older grew 100% in their adoption of the sites, compared with a growth rate of 13% for those ages 18-29. (See image below)”
The full report can be downloaded here.