Social networking services are becoming increasingly popular with older users, according to a recent study.
The Pew Internet and American Life project recorded large gains over the past year in the number of people over the age of 50 joining sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The project found that the percentage of social networking users between the ages 50-64 jumped from 16 to 47 per cent between November 2008 and May 2010.
Users over the age of 65 leapt from four to 26 per cent, and the report estimated that six per cent of people aged 50-64 use Twitter on a daily basis.
Use of social sites by people aged 18 to 29 grew from 67 to 86 per cent, while the 30-49 age bracket climbed from 25 to 61 per cent.
The gains indicate a narrowing gap between older and younger users in the social networking world. While still largely the domain of younger people, the space has shown a growing appeal in terms of reach and relevance as business tools.
"Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users," said Pew Internet senior research specialist Mary Madden.
"Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications."
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