Almost two years ago now, Mom and all her friends started signing up for Facebook. From there, colleagues, bosses, neighbors and others started creeping into the social networking site, once the
exclusive playground of the Web's young. For better or for worse, Advertising Age
's Michael Learmonth says, social networking is no longer a youth phenomenon. In fact, he says, Facebook, with
52 million U.S. users and 170 million worldwide, is starting to look "like America."
As of January 2009, more than 50% of Facebook's users and 44% of MySpace's users in the U.S. were over
age 35, according to comScore's estimates. The researcher also claims that the single biggest age demographic in the U.S. on both MySpace and Facebook is now between 35 and 44. And Facebook's fastest
growing demo is 55-plus.
To a certain extent, that has to be expected, as both Facebook and MySpace don't have a lot of growing room left among younger demos. According to the Pew Internet
and American Life project, 75% of online adults 18-24 already have a profile on a social network. Says Learmonth: "Generally, somewhere between growth and ubiquity is when uncool usually starts to set
in." College kids are usually a great barometer for what's cool. According to Anderson Analytics, Facebook is still the No. 1 Web site on college campuses. MySpace, however, has fallen from second
last year to No. 4 this year.
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