Musings of a PR Professional

The Book: Age specific?

After reading this post from PR 2.0 on the ever-growing popularity of Facebook, about a million and a half “why?” and “how come?” questions popped into my mind. I read blog posts about Facebook all the time, and for a social network that I’m so intensely engaged in myself, I have never written a blog post about it. This strikes me as very odd for two reasons:

  1. Since I use it so much and know so much about it, shouldn’t I naturally have a lot to say about it? And
  2. Since I use it so much and since  it is constantly changing, shouldn’t it at least sometimes effect me in such a way that I would have an opinion on these changes?

Well today is the day that I change the fact that I’ve never blogged about Facebook, but the topic of this post has little to do with answering the above to questions. What I am going to do with this post though, is ask more questions.

In his post, Solis provides the statistic that about 1/3 Facebook users is 35 to 49 years old and almost 1/4 is over 50 years old. As most people know, Facebook started out as a social network for only college students but that has ultimately changed and is now connecting people of all ages. So what’s with the age shift? 

I can understand the desire for adults to stay connected to their “long-lost” and current friends and family who may not live in a very close proximity to one another (and even those that do live close), but it seems to me that it is the younger demographic that really knows Facebook intimately and is more actively engaged in what the social network has to offer. It seems that a majority of Facebook’s appeal revolves around sharing pictures and the many different applications offered on the site and these are things I don’t see most adult users getting involved with for whatever reason.

But this begs the question that maybe adult users simply use the social networking site for different reasons than their younger counterparts do? I would say that they do use the site for more practical (for lack of a better term) purposes such as chatting on one another’s walls or creating groups to promote their professional interests.

So, will the older demographic, as they begin to become more immersed in the site, start to learn and use all the features Facebook has to offer more fully? Or is there simply a generation laps that can’t be overcome? Personally, I think it’s way too soon to tell, but Facebook certainly isn’t going anywhere and I can’t wait to see. What do you think?


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