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Too old for Facebook, too young for a face-lift?

Posted Mar 16 2009 3:54pm

Baby boomer couple 4


Out of the social networking pool, kids. The adults are coming in for a swim.

Too old for Facebook, too young for a face-lift?   Welcome to the Internet. Facebook originated as a networking tool for college students, but it's slowly being taken over by the Baby Boomer generation.

Between June 2008 and January 2009, the number of Facebook members age 35 to 54 nearly quadrupled....and....members older than 55 tripled, according to iStrategyLabs, a digital marketing agency.  Facebook seems to be the social networking hub of choice for local boomers, who claim it's less confusing than MySpace.

"I think it's the simpler design, with less advertisements or more subtle advertisements," said Michael Rabby, an assistant professor of communications at the University of Portland. "But the big thing Facebook did was that it let people build applications into it. With MySpace it was mostly people answering quizzes about themselves."

Woman laptop The influx of baby boomers on Facebook has helped dispel the notion that anyone over the age of 35 is computer illiterate.  But they're not exactly all savvy in the ways of social networking.   Boomersare also struggling to grasp the ripple affect of Facebook, and how far information can travel through the friend network. 

While college students use Facebook as a photo album for frat parties, adults are treating the site as their own personal high school reunion, sans nametags and a lame DJ.  Boomers are also using Facebook for business.

Abstracted from: "Facebook faces are getting older," by Courtney McCann, March 15, 2009,CMcCann@pressofac.com

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