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Social media growth is being fueled by mobile users over the age of 55

Americans are spending more time on social networks

Social networks and blogs have risen in popularity in mainstream America, now accounting for nearly one in every four minutes spent online. According to the third quarter Social Media Report by Nielsen, 23% of time spent online by Americans is now devoted to social networks with Facebook being the most popular. Over 53 billion total minutes were spent on Facebook by Americans in May 2011 alone. More time is spent on Facebook now than any other website in existence.

Not surprisingly, 40 percent of social media users access content from their mobile phone, up drastically in a short few years with credit due not just to the social networks but to the app developers and smartphone devices that make it fast and simple to use social media via mobile. Nielsen also reports, that people active in social networks are 12 percent more likely than the average web user to shop online, with a reported 70 percent of social networkers reporting that they shop online.

What is driving the growth?

One of Nielsen’s reported statistics is one that alternates frequently, with the current growth of social network due mostly in part to web users over the age of 55 using mobile browsing, while the growth is sometimes youth users. Women now reportedly outnumber men as the majority of visitors to social network, an important note for marketers seeking to reach an online audience.

The web is growing rapidly and is now a standard marketing tool for most business professionals, with mobile use fueling much of the growth of consumer use, especially with an older demographic. Facebook is the top destination for web users and we spend roughly a quarter of our time online devoted to blogs and social networks. We anticipate that in the next twelve months, this number will jump even more.

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Nielsen Social Media Report, Q3 2011

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.



  1. Private Label

    September 14, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Facebook for people older than 50 has been an excellent way to help people reconnect with people we grew up with. I have reconnected with people I went to high school with in Alaska and New Hampshire thanks to Facebook.

  2. Brandon

    September 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Yet another reason for real estate agents to get on the social media/networking bandwagon. I want to say the last stat I read was that 90% of homebuyers begin their searches online while only 10% of Realtors have a blog.

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