Seniors flocking to social networks: Are they playing games?


The image of social networks as a place just for teens and college kids continues to fall away thanks to a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project showing older Americans using social networks in larger numbers than ever before.

Over 40 percent of American Internet users 50 and older now use social networking sites, according to the study, nearly doubling their proportion from only a year ago. While young people are still the most active social networkers (86% of 18-29 year olds are on a social network), older Americans represent the fastest growing demographic for the sites.

While the Pew study didn't break out game use among these older social network users, it stands to reason that some of the group's increase in numbers is being driven by the popularity of social games. A Popcap study from February found that 46 percent of social gamers in the US were at least 50 years old, far outpacing the 30 percent or so of total internet users in that age group.

Even if those older social networkers aren't gaming now, it's likely their rising numbers will lead to more and more social game developers targeting their games at this growing audience.

Originally published