According to the Pew Research Center, social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010. Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%, while use among those ages 65 and older grew 100% from 13% to 26%.
Social Networking continues to be a popular tool amongst young adults and this age group remains to hold the largest amount of users. However, another generation seems to be growing at an incredible rate. 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.
One in five (20%) online adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago. Among adults ages 65 and older, 13% log on to social networking sites on a typical day, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.
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.
Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 2010