Facebook has overtaken Microsoft as the UK’s second most popular web site behind Google, according to figures revealed on Monday by online measurement body UKOM/Nielsen.
The social networking site recorded 26.8 million visits last month from people in the UK, many of them over the age of 50.
The number was high enough to propel Facebook above Microsoft's collective web brand, including MSN, Windows and Bing.
UKOM/Nielsen said that there had been a steady growth of older people using Facebook since 2009, with an 84 per cent increase of 50 to 64 year-olds and an 81 per cent increase in over-65s.
Nielsen senior director Stephanie Hayden suggested that the growing number of older people visiting social networks presents businesses with new opportunities to engage with customers.
"Consumers of all ages are online right now having millions of conversations about brands, categories and, more importantly, the key topics that matter to them,” she said.
"All companies should be making the effort to listen to consumers online in order to stay relevant to them and to fuel new directions for their brand."
According to the UKOM/Nielsen research, Twitter also enjoyed the highest-ever UK audience last month with 6.14 million visitors, representing growth of 43 per cent since May.
The rise was again mainly because of the new interest in social networks from older generations, with a 65 per cent increase in the number of men aged 50-64 on Twitter and a 96 per cent rise in women over 65.
Meanwhile, the research also noted the continued growth of business network LinkedIn, which registered 3.59 million UK visitors last month, a 57 per cent increase since April.
Facebook overtook Google in the US in March 2010 to become the most popular web site for the first time in its history, according to Hitwise data.
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