Baby Boomers are Joining Facebook, But are they Staying?

Baby Boomer usage of Facebook more than doubled in the past year!

In early 2010, Adweek Digital released statistical data regarding demographics of users based on age and sex. What’s really exciting is the continued baby boomer Facebook boom! Year over year, from February 2009 to February 2010, Facebook users age 55 to 65 more than doubled from 3% to 7%.

The Numbers

A look back at the monthly data throughout 2009 revealed some inconsistent baby boomer Facebook statistics. Early 2009 numbers showed huge growth but by mid-year the growth had stalled and even started to decline leaving some wondering if Facebook was a baby boomer bust. The fact is that today’s statistics show a strong and steady increase of baby boomer Facebook users.

The proof is in the numbers and those numbers equate to an increase of Facebook users age 55 to 65 of approximately 130% over the past year. Of course, the younger (under 44) crowd still rules the Facebook world making up 81% of users as of February 2010. However, compare this to February 2009 when the under 44 group took up 92% of Facebook users. In just one year the faces on Facebook over age 44 increased by 11%.

Facebook and Active Adult Communities

Many active adult communities are now offering Facebook classes for residents to help them start their own Facebook profile. This could be one reason that there are more and more baby boomer related groups popping up on Facebook such as the “Baby Boomer [Nexus]” group. This group of over 1,400 members claims its one fundamental value is to share collective experiences of value to its baby boomer members. 

Discussion topics include subject matters such as healthy eating, post retirement careers, myths and realities of retirement … the list goes on and on. Members also enjoy fun lighthearted topics such as looking back at what some might call a much simpler time and everything special about those times such as the music, the fads, the TV shows and the fashion.

While the “Baby Boomer [Nexus] group connects boomers from across the world, other groups are more geographic in nature. It only takes one person to start a Facebook group and help connect hundreds of people with a similar background. Take for example the group “You know you are a baby boomer from Pekin, IL when.” Amazingly this group, created by one tech savvy lady, has quickly grown to well over 700 members! They reminisce about the A&W Root Beer stand, the old Pekin Theater and a popular hangout called Angelos Pizza. Members post comments ranging from gossip about the old high school teachers to trying to locate old friends. 

Aside from groups specific to a geographic location there are also person specific groups. Just try searching the term “Grandma on Facebook” and you’ll find over 100 groups! Apparently a lot of younger folks think it would be great to be able to connect online with their grandparents. Many of these groups are actually specific to a real person meaning a family-member has created a special group aimed at encouraging their grandparent to join Facebook! And why not? Facebook is a wonderful tool for tech savvy grandparents to communicate with their children and grandchildren helping them feel more connected to their families. Especially if they don’t live close enough to visit. 

They can easily log on to Facebook to see what their kids and grandkids are up to, maybe watch a video clip of a missed birthday party or flip through some pictures of a trip to the zoo. For most boomers it’s all about staying connected with friends and family. Looking ahead how will the face of Facebook change throughout 2010? Based on the stats over the past year one would assume baby boomers will continue to join Facebook at an amazing rate.  Will the trend continue?  There is only one way to know.  Log on and find out…and along the way get connected with friends, with family and maybe even learn something new!