Facebook maturing trends

It’s getting clearer every day, Facebook is going through an inevitable maturing process.

Oh yes, and I don’t mean getting more mature because of its five-year presence on the web, but it seems that an older generation is taking over the most popular social network among teenagers and students, so far…

An iStrategylabs survey shows that the 35-54 generations (X and Y if I remember well) is istrategylabssteadily increasing among Facebook users (2009 Facebook Demographics and Statistics Report: 276% Growth in 35-54 Year Old Users – by Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategyLabs). Here are some facts :

1) The 35-54 year old demo is growing fastest, with a 276.4% growth rate in over the approximate 6 months since we last produced this report
2) The 55+ demo is not far behind with a 194.3% growth rate
3) The 25-34 year population on Facebook is doubling every 6 months
6) There are more females (55.7%) than males (42.2%) on Facebook – 2.2% are of unknown gender.
7) The largest demographic concentration remains the college crowd of 18-24 year olds (40.8%) which is down from (53.8%) six months ago.

Take away? Parents and professionals are rapidly adopting Facebook. Should a marketer be concerned about this shift if they’re focused on youth marketing?

Facebook’s audience is reajusting to take into account the fact that older generations are trying to catch up on generational technology gap. In Time magazine, Lev Grossman is explaining Why Facebook Is for Old Fogies. Among the ten reasons, I completely agree with the following… being part of these users myself :oldies_facebook

1. Facebook is about finding people you’ve lost track of.
2. We’re no longer bitter about high school.
3. We never get drunk at parties and get photographed holding beer bottles in suggestive positions.
4. Facebook isn’t just a social network; it’s a business network. And unlike, say, college students, we actually have jobs.
5. We’re lazy. We have jobs and children and houses and substance-abuse problems to deal with. At our age, we don’t want to do anything. What we want is to hear about other people doing things and then judge them for it. Which is what news feeds are for.
6. We’re old enough that pictures from grade school or summer camp look nothing like us. These days, the only way to identify us is with Facebook tags. […]

oh_crap_facebookBut this new phenomenon may change the way younger users manage their profile on Facebook … To have an idea of what can happen (it happened to me by the way :-), take a look at « Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook » !

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