Despite having two billion users worldwide, Facebook’s appeal to younger generations has been falling. Newsweek reports, for the first time in a decade, less than half of teenagers in the United States are visiting, sometimes not even once a month anymore. Whilst youths flock elsewhere, older generations are signing up at an alarming rate, with one in two ‘baby boomers’ now owning a profile, with four in ten owning a smartphone too.
The Telegraph recently reported the rise of ‘social seniors’, a phrase they have now started to put into action, saying that the number of people aged seventy-five and upwards logging onto Facebook has actually doubled in the last year alone. Which is an impressive statistic to try to understand in itself. However, they do bring to attention some of the downsides, mentioned by those in my report too, to an older person using social media, or just being online in the first place. Aside from perhaps the worry of oversharing which seems to be a main factor putting some off ever starting. Staying that a less technologically savvy generation logging on more often may, in fact, leave them more susceptible to malicious activity, from hacking of personal data right through to financial fraud too. Nevertheless, this so-called ‘striking rise’ in apparent usage has prompted a change in the way social networks are run themselves. Mitchell Start, a social media marketing expert from Inferno Media, commented on how there was an important change in operations, ways of working from those in charge of Facebook last year. Bosses choose to prioritise the content from those we know. This meant we, as those logging onto Facebook, in particular, would see more stuff from our friends and family instead of marketing material from businesses. In general, then the number of older people using social media has made a massive, somewhat underestimated difference on how social media works, especially Facebook where most of them seem to be logging into most often.
CUE: Sending a letter seems a long lost tradition nowadays, with a singular click powerful enough to instantly communicate with somebody sat a hundred miles away. Social media has transformed our way of life, without a doubt, however now it seems whilst younger people head elsewhere, to different apps, older people are continuing to log into Facebook. With Facebook officials themselves now predicting its second largest, ever growing, demographic, to be those over fifty-five years old. Why though, what’s so appealing? Our correspondent, Stephen Bailey has jumped online, spoken to experts plus heard your thoughts to understand more…
IN: “Hello, I’m Linda…”
OUT: “…it’s the thing of the future isn’t it.”
OUT WORDS: Stephen Bailey’s Grandma finishing that report. Whilst scrolling Facebook do remember to like BBC Radio 4.