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The social media networks favored by residents and prospective residents

January 26, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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When you want to use social media to communicate with residents or prospective residents, which networks should you use? New data from eMarketer published in AdWeek provide some insights.

Facebook, by far, is the most popular social network for those aged 55 years or more, according to the data. In fact, Facebook was the most popular social media network of users of all ages.

A total of 179.7 million are using social media in 2015, eMarketer says. Of the 156.5 million total Facebook users, 17.1 million (10.9 percent) are aged 55 to 64, and 10.6 million (6.8 percent) are aged 65 or more, according to the data. eMarketer expects the share of Facebook users aged 65 or more to grow to 7.6 percent next year, the largest percentage share increase among age groups using the network.

Researchers saw a great drop-off in use of other social media networks among older adults relative to their use of Facebook.

Pinterest is the next most popular social network among those aged 65 or more, but Tumblr was next for those aged 55 to 64. For Pinterest, 4.5 million (10.2 percent) of the network’s 44.5 million users are aged 55 to 64, and 2.9 million (6.5 percent) are aged 65 or more. Among the 19.1 million Tumblr users in 2015, 6.2 million (6.2 percent) are aged 55 to 64, and 0.4 million (2.2 percent) are aged 65 or more. Tumblr was the only anomaly in the trends of social media user among older adults that were analyzed (see graphic).

When it comes to Twitter, 4.1 million (7.9 percent) of its 52.9 million users of the network are aged 55 to 64, and 2.7 million (5.8 percent) of users are aged 65 or more. Overall, among social media users of all ages, Twitter was the third-most popular social media network, more popular than Pinterest but less popular than Instagram.

Of all networks researchers looked at, Instagram came in last in use by older adults, however, with 2.6 million (4.4 percent) of the network’s 60.3 million users being aged 55 to 64 and 0.4 million being aged 65 or more.

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