Nearly 8 million Americans 65 and over visited Facebook in November 2009. Nearly 8 million older Americans visited YouTube in November, too. After Google Search and Windows Media Player, the two big social networks are the most-visited websites among older Americans.

So found The Nielsen Company, reported in the nielsenwire on December 10, 2009.

One year ago, Facebook was the 45th most visited site by seniors. Today, it’s #3.

8.2% of social network visitors are over 65. That’s only 0.1 percentage points less than the proportion of teens visiting social network sites, according to Nielsen’s data based on November 2009 web activity.

Nielsen says that seniors’ online are generally doing much of what younger people do: view and share photos, emailing, and keeping up with news and weather forecasts.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:
Take a look at Nielsen’s findings on online activities performed in the past 30 days, organized in the second chart. After email, map printing (don’t we all?!), viewing the grandkids’ photos, news and weather, and paying bills, nearly 1 in 2 older Americans checked out personal health care information online in the past 30 days.

This data point’s an important one because older people tend to have more intense use of health services such as doctors’ visits and diagnostic tests. As we age, we tend to develop chronic conditions, and more of them. That more older Americans are checking online with health information is a data point for greater health engagement.

Just imagine if these visits involve health information shared in social networks online. We’ll call that Wisdom of the Sage, Aging Crowd.

1 Comment on Grandpa's got a brand new bag: social media

Jodi said : Guest Report 13 years ago

Great post. How long until a PHR is integrated as a secure (and private) tab in Facebook? Personally, I think that would encourage use of such tools. The ultimate goal, of course, is meeting people where they are at, and the more we can leverage familiar platforms the better.

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