Online usage demographics are changing
January 17, 2011
Pew Internet has some interesting new data on Internet usage by age demographic, and the take-away is that more “older” people are using Facebook.
According to the report, Internet users over the age of 74 joined social networking sites at a faster rate than any other age group this year. Since 2008, in fact, social networking use has quadrupled among people of the ‘G.I. Generation,’ jumping from 4-percent to 16-percent.
At the other end of the spectrum, ‘millennial’ (people between the ages of 18 and 33) are more likely to use social networking, wireless Internet, and laptops than any other age demographic, and are more likely to spend their online time in virtual worlds, as well. People above the age of 33, however, are more likely to use the Web to do more practical things, like online banking and checking up on governmental websites.
The report is also interesting for the data across a range of age groups.
For unions considering where they should focus their online efforts, and to make generalisations about where their membership demographic is spending most of their time online, this report is potentially very useful.
Facebook and social networking is a “must”, but email remains the “killer app” for online campaigning – topping the list for all age groups. Similarly, “search” comes second – so search based advertising for union recruitment and campaigns is important as well.
Finally, another useful nugget is that a large and growing proportion of Internet users watch online videos – so unions should continue to use videos, and make them interesting, to promote their campaigns and membership.