The Orbital Alliance Blog

Facebook Going Gray.... Is this a Good or Bad Thing?

Posted by admin

Jun 24, 2011 9:13:56 AM

Facebook Going Gray.... Is this a Good or Bad Thing?The fastest growing age segments on Facebook are the 55-64 and 65 and up. With this being the fastest growing segment for Facebook, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

55+ on Facebook

Let's face it... at some point in time, it had to happen... those over 55+ would eventually take the plunge and start using Facebook. They may not have wanted to ever join, but because their kids, and their grand kids were utilizing it and updating their information, it became a necessity for them to join to see how their family was doing as well as see photos of their grand kids. Well now, they have been on there a while, and now they are utilizing it more. Less than 1 year ago, roughly 25% of those 55+ would "like" a brand page. Today, that number is up to 43% and is still growing. It is growing at a much faster pace than other age demographics.

Why Facebook is Happy about Growth in Senior Accounts

So why should Facebook be happy about these stats? According to Internet Retailer: "There are 116 million consumers age 50 or older in the United States. These consumers wield $2.9 trillion in spending power annually, and two-thirds of online adults age 46-73 say they shop online. In fact, 69% of Internet users ages 56-64 say they shop online, a higher penetration than any of the other age groups tracked by the Pew Internet & American Life Project."

With spending being strong from this age group, it bodes well for Facebook to continue to make a strong push towards providing eCommerce solutions and be a positive impact on businesses, products, and services placing a heavy emphasis on social marketing.

So Why Could this be a bad thing for Facebook?

On a high level, it seems like there is no downside... but every action has a ripple effect, and that effect can be on the potential loss of users in the younger generations.

As Facebook continues to add the baby boomers and older consumers, the younger teenage and young adult segment may get turned off. They may never say it publicly to their parents and grandparents, but they don't want to share all their life with them. Teenagers don't want to be friends with their parents. They don't want to see what they are doing, who their friends are, and what their friends are doing. There is also a sense of not liking something simply because their parents do like it... simply rebelling.

This could lead to the younger generations search other means of social interacting with their friends, and potentially could lead to a drop off in users of their generation, and get them focused/committed to an up-and-coming rival social site.

Could Facebook Have an Issue?

So am I looking too much into this, or could this actually be a legitimate concern of Facebook?

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