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Rise of Social Seniors

   NEWS / 17 Jul 2017

As Marketers, we always hear of “Millennials”, and how Instagram and Facebook etc. are the optimal platforms to reach them. However, a recent study by market research giant OfCom, reports that Baby Boomers (those aged between 65-74) are in fact one of the fastest growing demographics delving into the world of technology.

Over the past year, the growth in over 65’s using smartphones has risen 11%, with four in one or 39% now owning one. There has also been a large surge in the over 75’s with 27% of them now using modern technology such as iPhones and tablets.

Nearly half of the online baby boomers currently have a social media profile, and again the proportion within over 75’s has doubled from 19% to 41% according to Ofcom. Nine in ten (87%) of these social seniors over the age of 65 opt for a Facebook account compared to only 6% using Whatsapp.



Although the older generation are more connected than ever before, the time spent online is half of the younger generation (16-24) with over 65’s spending 15 hours online, compared to 32 hours among millennials. It was also found that social seniors view less insulting information online compared to younger users. This may be down to older users’ having a more limited use of the online world as a whole due to their narrow activity use.

Ofcom suggests that 20% of social seniors consider themselves to be lacking in confidence online which could be due to these users being new to internet all together. The study found that 21% of over 75’s used the internet for the first time in the last five years. From inexperience, results showed that 16% of over 55’s ‘never’ considered privacy implications when posting information and photos online.

In view of the fact that social seniors as less experienced, it was also found that less than half of over 75’s were able to identify sponsored links in search results. Similarly, the awareness of personalised advertising seemed to be a lot lower than younger users. According to Ofcom’s report, 73% of over 75’s and 60% of baby boomers were unaware of this type of advertising, compared to the average of 44%.


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