Grandma Likes Facebook (and she is healthier for it)

490580262Mark Zuckerberg may be a genius, but back at Harvard I don’t think even he envisioned that Grandma would become a heavy user of his Facebook platform. But today so it is. However, an older and wiser Zuckerberg also realized that despite Facebook’s continued growth and dominance (79% of online Americans now have an account) that other platforms were necessary as part of the portfolio. No dummy he, Instagram (owned by Facebook) is now the #2 platform with 32% penetration.

The Pew Research Center provides data on social media demographics and I find it fascinating to watch the societal changes. Facebook is now so omnipresent that according to 2016 Social Media Report income and education are no longer elements that appreciably affect social media usage. And yes, Grandma likes Facebook as 62% of online adults 65+ now have a Facebook account. What’s interesting is that there are studies which indicate that seniors who use social media are healthier and live longer than those that don’t. Social media usage specifically, and computer usage in general, help to ward off isolation, loneliness and depression among seniors. For many it is their lifeline to the world at large and to their families.

And Facebook has become “stickier” than ever across all ages with 76% of users checking in daily which is an increase from 70% in 2016.

PI_2016.11.11_Social-Media-Update_0-01But while Facebook is still the Goliath of the social media world other platforms have increasing penetration as well. According to the latest study penetration among online users of other platforms were as follows:

Instagram 32%
Pinterest 31%
LinkedIn 29%
Twitter 24%

Though the penetration numbers were very tight among these platforms they have different skews as Instagram and Twitter skew young. Pinterest is strongly female, and LinkedIn largely professional.
The net result of the continued growth of all the major (and minor) social platforms is that advertising on social media is booming, growing 65% in 2016. With eyeballs come ads.

Social media is hardly “mature” as it is always evolving but clearly what was originally a youth phenomenon is no longer. Maybe Grandma doesn’t dig Snapchat yet, but she might in future years. Go Granny, go, Granny go, Granny go.

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