Facebook growing up and out with teens and grads

Facebook growing up and out with teens and grads

Summary: It's not any surprise, but comScore has some new numbers reflecting the changing demographic of the Facebook community. People of means, the grown-ups, are flocking to Facebook, as well as teenagers escaping MySpace orbit.

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It's not any surprise, but comScore has some new numbers reflecting the changing demographic of the Facebook community. People of means, the grown-ups, are flocking to Facebook, as well as teenagers escaping MySpace orbit.

As Facebook migrates beyond its core college demographic it will need some customization for each of its major demographic segments to some degree. What's appealing to teenagers isn't the same as what will keep the 35+ segment happy, which is now the biggest unique monthly user segment.

On the other hand, having an applications platform solves many of the problems of creating more unique experiences for each demographic. Even so, the core social networking platform, dealing with friends, networks and profiles, should continue to evolve and add functionality, such as features that apply to forming professional networks and managing those relationships. Just as Google has a majority of search ad revenue across multiple segments, Facebook could attain a majority of social network revenue by branching out into more segments, which is what shareholders value...and Facebook does seem destined for an IPO.

facedemo.jpg Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations Source: comScore Media Metrix

facedemo2.jpg

See also: Dennis Howlett:  Facebook for the Enterprise = Facebook 

Topics: Networking, Social Enterprise

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4 comments
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  • Maybe, but . . .

    As a 31-year old techie I still think the idea of Facebook for the masses is a bit overblown. I use it regularly and have noticed the growth as well. But there's times where I still feel like an old man treading on the domain of college kids and recent graduates - the demographic which has the best combination of traits required to actively participate in and properly maintain a social network - free time and lack of responsibilities.

    It was interesting to roll back through my high school's graduating classes. With each year past the year 2001, the number of people on Facebook quickly dropped off. Out of my '94 class of 500 (from an affluent area where well over 90+% go onto college) only 7 were on Facebook and half of them didn't appear to be active users. Most of the larger graduating classes from the 80s had no users at all. And of the several professional groups I'm involved in on Facebook only a few are semi-active. The majority of interaction still takes place outside of Facebook.

    I can see the potential for certain applications. But I still can't help but think the value of 'social' gets overblown for older demographics. Careers, marriage, children, etc. have a way of eating up a LOT of the time that previously went towards socializing - even for those of us who eat/breathe technology. Even the increased efficiency that may be gained by socializing online seems like it might not be enough to make up for the increasing demands on free time that come with age.

    A more interesting stat from Comscore would be the actual number of pageviews by demographic (and 35+ is one hell of an open-ended demographic.) FWIW, they released a very similar article detailing MySpace's demographics last October:

    Comscore - More than Half of MySpace Visitors are now 35 or Older
    http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=1019
    RustyShackleford
    • Tend to agree.

      Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and the others seem to be for those with a lot of time on their hands. I've cruised through these sites briefly on occasion. I have yet to see anything of much value. If I was retired, maybe, but even then I don't see myself spending my time on these sites. Pretty much useless drivel.
      shawkins
    • Agreed

      I personally don't know anyone who is serious in their career who would think of having either a facebook or myspace account. Many of my friends and colleagues see such sites as risks to their jobs regardless of which site.

      The rationale I believe has nothing to do with what one may put on their own page as much as the overall reputation of the site itself. In other words, you could have a completely vanilla Myspace/facebook page that only lists professional information but who would feel comfortable in a serious network situation or with an employer - current or prospective - and suggest they view such a site for more information about you or to connect?

      In a business world of gray flannel, myspace and facebook are seen as just different shades of neon yellow.
      Busay
      • Facebook growing up and out with teens and grads

        Agreed. Which is probably why LinkedIn will continue to thrive.
        MHartley