Home » Over 50 Set Using more Social Media in Halifax Study. Quell Surprise?

Over 50 Set Using more Social Media in Halifax Study. Quell Surprise?

The main question is, is the older demographic using Facebook more than before, or it is just the last demographic to saturate itself with the use of social media. A recent study in the Halifax edition of Metro somewhat answers that. And somewhat doesn’t.

From Metro Halifax [March 23, 2012]

The faces on Facebook appear to be getting older.

According to a recent survey of HRM (Halifax and area) residents, one of the fastest-growing groups of Facebook users is those over 50.

In the past 12 months, the plus-50 crowd on Facebook has grown from just over 30 per cent to 42 per cent.

And almost 50 per cent of those over 50 not currently using this social-media phenomenon expect to being using it within the next year.

For Twitter there appears to be some resistance.

When we asked HRM residents if they were likely to join Twitter sometime in the next six months, the same number of 18- to 24-year-olds and those over-65 said yes — just over 20 per cent each.

The pattern of a rapid increase in Internet usage by the older population extends across cyberspace into all areas. It is obvious that all consumers are rapidly moving to various forms of online banking and automatic payments. Over 60 per cent of households in our community are managing some aspects of their budget online.

There is one significant exception. There is a huge difference between the young and old when it comes to online shopping.

Barely 40 per cent of the older group has done so over the past six months, whereas 70 per cent of those under 50 used the Internet during that same period to buy products or services.

The gap grew smaller, however, when we asked if the Internet is used to research before buying. The under-50 group reports regularly researching their purchases online — at just over 80 per cent.

But the over-50 crowd is almost as likely to be doing the same thing, with 72 per cent of respondents researching on the Net.  They just prefer to continue shopping the old way — at the store.

Here is one last interesting fact about online usage. Females consistently track about 10 per cent higher in all major usage areas including Facebook, online shopping and Twitter.