10 November 2011

The Age of Social Media



Social media.

All stuff for young people, right?


A new poll by Harris-Decima shows an increase in social media use among Canadians over the past two years, from 57% in a poll conducted two years ago to 68% in the latest survey.

The most significant growth came in the over-50 age bracket..  Only 39% of those over 50 had used social media in 2009.  But that number had climbed to 57% in the recent survey.

CTV carried a report on the poll by Canadian Press:

They're [the over-50s] getting more comfortable online," Mike Leahy, senior Harris-Decima vice-president, said in reference to older Canadians.

"My impressions are that they are communicating with different generations, who are very active in social media."

Facebook is the most commonly used type social media.  All but three percent of respondents had used Facebook.  Only two percent of respondents used Twitter in 2009 but 25% of respondents used Twitter in the most recent survey.

That parallels a survey of Americans conducted by the Pew Institute in August:

The frequency of social networking site usage among young adult internet users under age 30 was stable over the last year – 61% of online Americans in that age cohort now use social networking sites on a typical day, compared with 60% one year ago. However, among the Boomer-aged segment of internet users ages 50-64, social networking site usage on a typical day grew a significant 60% (from 20% to 32%).

“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and co-author of the report. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

- srbp -