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Older web users flock to social media

50+ demographic grows faster than younger users says report
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A Pew Internet survey report has found that older web users have adopted social networking at a faster rate than younger users.

The report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans' use of the Internet. Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted telephone interviews among a sample of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older and found that between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88 per cent, from 25 per cent to 47 per cent.

“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explained Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report.

“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.”

By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by just 13 per cent from 76 per cent to 86 per cent. Among adults ages 65 and older, 13 per cent log on to social networking sites on a typical day, compared with just 4 per cent who did so in 2009.

At the same time, the use of status update services like Twitter has also grown—particularly among those ages 50-64 according to the report. One in ten internet users ages 50 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.

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