How the Old, the Young and Everyone in Between Uses Social Networks

How the Old, the Young and Everyone in Between Uses Social Networks

eMarketer
JULY 30, 2009

Social networkers utilize popular Websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in different ways depending on their age.

According to Anderson Analytics, Generation Z (13-to-14-year-old) social network users were more likely to use MySpace than Facebook. Only 9% of them used Twitter and none used LinkedIn.

Social Networking Sites Used by US Social Network Users, by Generation, May 2009 (% of respondents in each group)

Generation Y was a somewhat different story. Three-quarters of 15-to-29-year-olds used MySpace, 65% used Facebook, 14% used Twitter and 9% used LinkedIn.

Generation Y was a somewhat different story. Three-quarters of 15-to-29-year-olds used MySpace, 65% used Facebook, 14% used Twitter and 9% used LinkedIn.

Generation X, 30-to-44-year-olds, and baby boomers, 44-to-65-year-olds, connected on LinkedIn more than any demographic.

Nine in 10 older social network users, which Anderson Analytics called the WWII generation, used Facebook, and 17% tweeted.

When it came to why social networkers joined a social network, however, the reasons were similar from generation to generation.

Sizable percentages of every age group wanted to keep in touch with friends, have fun or stay in contact with family, or had been invited by someone they knew. The youngest users were most likely to be interested in fun and friends, while family contact appealed more to older social networkers.

Reasons that US Social Network Users Joined a Social Network, by Generation, May 2009 (% of respondents in each group)

Very few users of any age joined for business-related purposes such as recruiting potential candidates, sales, job searches or business networking.

“Due to the difference in age of the users, the interests of users are naturally different,” wrote the authors of the report.

“LinkedIn users are more interested in luxury activities, Twitter users are more interested in pop culture and MySpace users are more interested in humor/comedy and video games.”

It seems social networking sites are places for friends to meet, no matter what their age.

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