Social Media Taking Off in the Over 50 Crowd

Social media has taken off for the over 50 crowd, showing an interesting and surprising surge for older Americans. A recent report from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that social media use in the 50 plus crowd is actually growing faster than is any other age group.  The usage for those 65 and older has tripled since 2009, moving from 13% to 43%. From the 50-64 age group, the usage has risen from 24% to 60%.

As senior researcher with Pew Aaron Smith explained, “These are folks who have lived perfectly successful and happy lives for six decades or more without any of this stuff. When they do adopt a social media platform, it’s because a friend or a family member has shown them how they can make your life better, or solve some problem you’ve had.”

The data from Pew has shown that 57% of internet users in the 50-64 age group use Facebook and that 35% of those over 65 do.

Companies that cater to the older crowd, like AARP, are paying attention. VP of Social Media at AARP, Tammy Gordon, explains, “Facebook is the starter site. It’s based on the idea that I know you, you know me and we have a connection – especially for families spread across country.”
Gordon actually heads a six person social team that she founded in 2010 that helps to build the social media presence at AARP.

AARP now has one million Facebook followers and over 200 social media accounts on Twitter and on other sites.