While mainstream marketing and PR pros are setting their online sights on the younger generations, they might want to take a new look at those folks over 65 years of age.
According to a NielsenWire Online study, while people 65 and older still make up less than 10% of the active Internet universe, in the last five years their number has increased by more than 55%, from 11.3 million active users in November 2004 to 17.5 million in November 2009. Among people 65 and older, the increase of women online in the last five years has outpaced the growth of men by 6%. Other key findings include:
• People 65-plus are spending more time on the Web, increasing by 11% in the last five years, from approximately 52 hours per month in November 2004 to just over 58 hours in 2009.
• 88.6% of seniors say checking personal e-mail is the No. 1 online activity performed in the last 30 days. Viewing or printing online maps and checking the weather online were the second and third most popular online activities.
• The No. 1 online destination for people over 65 in November 2009 was Google Search, with 10.3 million unique visitors. Windows Media Player and Facebook were No. 2 and No. 3. Facebook, which came in at No. 3, ranked No. 45 just a year ago among sites visited by seniors.
• The number of unique visitors 65 or older on social networking and blog sites has increased 53% in the last two years alone. Now 8.2% of all social network and blog visitors are over 65, just 0.1% less than the number of teenagers who frequent these sites.
Source: The Nielsen Company