Facebook Is For Old People

In May of 2008, the median age for Facebook was 26. Today, it's 33. That's 7 years of aging in less than 2 years.

Remember when Facebook was all about college students? Ah, those were the days...

This comes from reading ReadWriteWeb which tells me that college students are still on Facebook, but they have to share walls and Live Feeds with moms, dads, grandparents, and bosses.

Where are they headed? Twitter - a place that they avoided in the early days. A place that is turning into a marketing platform as far as I can see. But Twitter was a place that was reportedly just not that interesting to Gen Y. Now, Twitter is the second-youngest of the top four social networking sites. Median age: 31. (MySpace:26, LinkedIn: 39)


What happened? Did Facebook and Twitter change or did the young kids grow up a bit?

This AP article suggests that celebrity tweeters, and non-peer pressure (teachers and bosses?) pulled some Gen Y's into it, but also that some of those kids who are now in the workplace are seeing the business-related value to using it for things like building contact lists. YPulse tracks that demographic and agrees with the latter.

And here's an interesting alternate take on all this from Craig Watkins at the University of Texas. He is the author of the trendily long-titled The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future. He says that what we are seeing happen is "...a kind of closing of that generational gap as it relates to technology."

Young and old alike joining the same networks and socializing in the same spaces. It's frightening!

Will there be a backlash and sites like FML, Failblog, TextsFromLastNight, and Sporcle will start attracting the younger people, while old-timers go to places like Boomj, (a baby-boomer social net) or the "online old folks home" at eons.com?

Pew Internet Report on Twitter (Fall 2009)



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