Thursday, February 25, 2010

6 Surprising Social Media Stats

Sometimes we assume some things about the Internet that just aren't true. We think that it's a tool primarily for the young, but that's not necessarily so. This became a personal revelation when my 80 year old father found my parents new home by surfing the web. No realtor, no word of mouth, and none of the traditional tools, just a browser.

Briana Kerensky crunched some numbers from 19 different social media sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Delicious and StumbleUpon, to come up with some surprising numbers in a post on, that verify that it's not teenagers and young adults dominating the social media sphere - it's their parents. The following is from Briana's post.

1. A quarter of social media users are between the ages of 35 and 44. According to Pingdom, people of middle age are the most "social" age group out there, because they were the generation of people in their 20s when online social networking took off in the mid-1990s.

2. 61 percent of Facebook's users are middle aged or older. While Facebook was originally created with college students in mind, older users have since taken over. According to Pingdom's study, 61 percent of Facebook's users are aged 35 and over, with the average age being 37. A full 64 percent of Twitter's users are over the age of 35 as well, with the average age of 39.

3. College-age people do not dominate any particular Web site. Pingdom's study revealed that no single Web site is the premiere choice for today's 18-24 year-olds.

4. The 17 and under crowd dominates Bebo. The only social networking site to have any kind of grip on the under 30 group is Bebo, which has an average age of 28. On Bebo 44 percent of the users are below 17 years of age. Owned by AOL, Bebo offers many of the same benefits as Facebook, but with more options to personalize profiles. It also offers space to promote music and original written works. Myspace also had a young group of users, with 33 percent being under 17.

5. Senior citizens have not caught on to social media yet. Folks aged 55-64, and 65 and over, are not heavy social media users. Pingdom attributes this stat to various factors, including seniors' lack of technical prowess and interest in the Internet. There's also the fact that social networking sites tend to be pretty time consuming for users. The older generation, which wasn't raised with home computers or phones with Internet (and got along with life just fine) just isn't used to using the Web as frequently as others.

6. has the largest amount of older members. had the largest number of users over the age of 65, at 8 percent. Another 78 percent are over the age of 35., which has been on the Internet since 1995, allows users to find, connect with, and keep in touch with people from throughout their lives. While it may just sound like a more nostalgic version of Facebook or MySpace, in 2008 Nielsen Online rated the Web site as number three in unique monthly visitors. In the United States and Canada alone, there are 40 million active members.

All this doesn't have a lot to do with music except for the fact that you can't assume anything when it comes to the Internet and social networking. Knowing your audience is still of prime importance.

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