Online usage demographics are changing

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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.

Pew Internet Generational Report

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.

2 responses to “Online usage demographics are changing”

  1. Adelaide Dupont Avatar

    It's interesting to think about the 33-divide (the reference that the Pell people made to do practical things).

    Yes, e-mail tends to be the killer app. Without it, I wouldn't have mailing lists or subscriptions.

    And I tend to watch more online videos than I did five years ago, even last year!

    (Does the Australian Workers' Union have a video feed? What about other unions who are innovative in their practice?)

    Great to see "The Greatest Generation" up on the Net.

    1. Alexander White Avatar

      The AWU (and other unions) have a "TV" section on their website with videos:

      One of the best ones I've ever come across is from the UK, and I featured it on the Creative Unions website:

      The Communications Workers Union has an amazing online video site.