It’s funny what discoveries you can make with travel mishaps.
Yesterday, as I was traveling through Phoenix to get home to Austin (24 hours post normally scheduled flight), an older woman sitting behind me taps me on the shoulder and asks, “what network are you using?” I responded, “the free Skyharbor wifi, but I just lost the network.” “Oh,” she says looking dejected. “I was just trying to do a check-in here.”
A check-in?! As in, you are in your 60s and you are using a location based marketing service to tell someone, anyone that you are now sitting at an airport restaurant on your way to your next destination, check-in? How cool!
We all know that young people have adopted social networking in droves. Facebook was originally targeted at the college-set. But, years ago, that limitation was broken open to include folks of any age…even your grandma.
Now, I can tell you from my own personal experience, I now have my mom, an aunt, two uncles and an old neighbor as friends on Facebook. All of the above are 70+ years old. /Because 70 is the new 60.
But, does that translate into a statistically significant representation of older people using social networking tools?
According to a 2010 Pew report, social networking use among those ages 50-64 grew 88% from 2009 to 2010. During the same period, social networking use among those older than 65 grew 100% from 13% to 26%. Just for comparisons sake, social networking use among those 18-29 only grew by 13%. To use a term my parents might say, “that’s groovy!”
Read the report, learn a lot about the next target audience for social networking and don’t forget about the seniors because computers are not just for solitaire anymore.