Online Ageism: Sunday Statistics Ed. 5

Online Ageism(image by aNantaB)

The area of Web 2.0, social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, social media sites such as StumbleUpon, wikis such as the Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia…is all brand new, having become extremely popular in the past two or three, or even four years. So, it seems obvious that the younger generation, having “grown with it,” may be more familiar with it, and perhaps more targeted. But how about the “older” generation that may not have “grown up with” this new type of media, but have grown to love it?

A February 2008 BurstMedia study of over 13,000 web users 18+ found that the needs and wants of all age segments are not being met by online content providers.

The Statistics

The prevailing perception of older individuals is that web content and advertising is not relevant to them, but aimed at younger individuals.

  • Only 37% of respondents ages 45-54 believe web content is designed for people their age.
  • Furthermore, only 20% respondents aged 55+ say websites are designed for people their age.
  • 83% of respondents 55+ feel that online advertising is focused on younger individuals.

Even though the older crowd says that the web is not targeted towards them,

  • 62.8% of respondents 55+ say they are visiting more sites today in a typical week of web surfing than they were one year ago.

The content sought by respondents 55+ is as follows:

  • Local / national news (55.9%)
  • Shopping / product info (44%)
  • Health information (42.5%)
  • International news (38.9%)
  • Travel information (38.2%)
  • Food information / recipes (34.1%)

Statistics Summary

Although they do not feel that the web is relevant to or targeted towards them, web users aged 55+ are using the internet more frequently than they have in the past. Perhaps web content producers and companies should embrace this absence of websites targeted towards users 55+ with easy to use and easy to find web sites that tackle the needs and concerns of those in this age group.

Furthermore, if your target audience is older individuals older than 50, you should be aware that they are engaging in more internet activity than ever before, and if your company does not have a significant presence on the web because you feel your target audience is not there, you are poorly mistaken.

For more information and statistics on this topic, visit the Burst Media survey results.

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