Women Over the Age of 55 Are The Largest Growing Group on Facebook

elderly-people-on-computerWith over 200 million users now, Facebook‘s popularity is growing most quickly among women older than 55, according to Inside Facebook, which tracks Facebook’s growth.

Yesterday a CNN article revealed that there are now about 1.5 million female users older than 55 on the site – roughly a 550 percent increase over six months ago. By comparison, membership among people younger than 25 grew by less than 20 percent over the same period. The number of men over age 55 also grew dramatically, but women over 55 still outnumber men in this age group by almost two-to-one.

This is contrary to assumptions that many marketers and businesses make – that elderly people are not online and that elderly women are not involved in social media.

Why is this so important?

  • senior women age 50 and older control a net worth of $19 trillion*
  • senior women own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth*
  • women control 85% of all brand purchases

CNN solicited interaction and discussion from people 55 and older on their own Facebook Discussion Board asking why they were on Facebook. While “connecting with other people” was a response repeated over and over, this group ranging from 50 to 83-years-old seems to be enjoying all that Facebook has to offer.

I’m 65 and joined Facebook around two years ago. I would be lost without it. I use Facebook to keep connected with friends and family that are scattered everywhere. – Jinx Macgillivray

Reasons people 55 and older gave for being on Facebook and why they like it:

  • To stay in touch with family all over the place
  • Keep in touch with children
  • To reconnect with people from high school and college
  • To stay young
  • Find it fascinating and enriching to interact with people
  • Easy way to keep in touch with everyone
  • Share photos
  • Share silly humor and laugh
  • Promote causes they believe in
  • Make new friends
  • Join specific groups for interests and discussions
  • It is borderless, and genders and ages mix so freely
*Mass Mutual Financial Group-2007

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

13 Responses to “Women Over the Age of 55 Are The Largest Growing Group on Facebook”

  1. In a lot of ways this makes perfect sense. The barrier for entry is low (technical expertise is minimum) and when Facebook first arrived on the scene it’s main champion was college age girls who wanted to share pictures.

    The same concept applies with a 55+ women: they want to see what their friends have been up too and likely want to add a lot of pictures. It’s an awesome tool to reconnect with people…especially if you have never had access to anything like it.

  2. The most important and exciting feature of Facebook that this audience discovers is finding old friends/boyfriends. That is what I hear them all abuzz about.

  3. […] a comment » Recently, She-conomy reported that women, aged 55 and up, are the fastest-growing segment of Facebook users. What does […]

  4. You blog is one of the very best. Great insights. But come on – what is with that picture? As a 59 woman who markets real estate to 50+ folks I can tell you they don’t look that shriveled up and old – nor do they respond well to people who put up photos suggesting they do.

  5. I’m 54 and I have no wrinkles. This picture looks more like the “parents” of people in their 50’s. People in their 30’s don’t even believe I’m 54. I look younger than many of them.

    Take time to research for appropriate images. It’s a big part of marketing. You could alienate a lot of people this way. Have you re-read who controls the $$$? We don’t get there by being dummies…but I forgive you (smile)

  6. Hi Vanessa, To begin with… you are so right. You do NOT look like you are 54! And, thanks so much for your comment. The main reason we chose that photo was because even though the title said over 55, the study and comments revealed the ages were between 55 and 83. We tried to address the real surprise, which is that the age group represented in the photo is also very prevalent and growing on Facebook. But it might not be so clear as you are the second person who has commented on that. ; )

  7. This issue clearly “has legs”. We continue to be overlooked or ignored in much of media despite the accurate statistics you quote. Here our visibility has been raised because we have taken to the technology first picked up by the younger kids. It’s seems to be a surprise that we are tech savvy and can mold it’s uses to fit our interests! Gee, we must not be as over the hill as they think!

  8. So… this group uses Facebook for the same reasons everyone does. Did we expect something different? Sometimes, segmenting a market complicates a situation more than it clarifies, but I guess supporting proof is always good.

  9. […] she-conomy.com/2009/04/14/women-over-the-age-of-55-are-the-largest-growing-group-on-facebook/ bit.ly/9FrIAg […]

  10. Interesting data and ideas….but excuse me…my colleagues and I are over 50 and no one views us as “elderly”….what’s up with that? And I wonder what the source is of the demographics…I know dozens of women in this age bracket who also use FB for entrepreneurial support. Thanks though, interesting.

  11. This is an interesting demographic shift but noticably the 50+ women polled don’t seem to use it for professional networking. Why is that? It would be an interesting concept to explore. Struggle also with being classed as ” elderly” !

  12. I love this article even though it is more than a year old. BUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING USING THAT PICTURE????? Those are not 55 year old women, those are 85 year old women. Oprah is 55. I realize stock images have grey-haired people for anyone called “senior” but since the retirement age is now 62, and soon to be 65, let’s retire these tired images and reflect what boomers actually look like. Please. and Thank you.

  13. Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same
    layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

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