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Facebook's Young Users Drop, But Elderly Rise

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Facebook's Young Users Drop, But Elderly Rise

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While some say Facebook is loosing younger users, those over 65 are fastest-rising group on Facebook, according to a new report.

The Pew Center for Internet and American Life released a report Monday that showed  the group on Facebook showing the strongest growth were users over 65 years old. The report, which studied 1,801 adults from August to September 2013, said that 45 percent of American elderly who use the Internet are on Facebook, up from 35 percent last year. In comparison, 84 percent of teens using the Internet are on Facebook, the same number as last year.

There has been concern that Facebook's slow growth among teens may hamper its profitability, but the report's authors aren't as concerned with the slowing of growth. 

“It’s hard to get more than 85 percent of anyone doing anything,”  author Aaron Smith told the Washington Post. “A lot of the easy converts in the younger group, or even in the older and middle-aged group, are already on the site. The senior group is the only area that has any substantial area for growth.”
 
Facebook still has rising teen use on Instagram, which it bought for $1 billion last year, and is still dubbed the "default social network," according to Smith. Others, such as women flock to Pinterest and young adults and African-Americans prefer Twitter.
 
While the elderly doesn't have the same kind of cachet as teens or youth culture, the elderly also come with something much more valuable -- wealth. Perhaps Facebook will learn to exploit this more, or try to find something to entice youngsters back to its social network and chats with Grandma.

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