Facebook's Senior Moment

Is Facebook going through an inevitable mainstreaming that is moving young consumers to look for the next new thing in social networking?

College and high school users have declined in absolute number by 20% and 15% respectively in the past six months, according to estimates Facebook provides to advertisers. Facebook users aged 55 and over have skyrocketed from under 1 million to nearly six million in the same time period.

That’s what comes of social networking. One baby boomer e-mails another, and then a whole digital high school reunion starts taking place. This reminds me of when Toyota thought it was clever to launch Scion to reach younger buyers, and introduced the funky, boxy xB model only to find out that forty and fiftysomethings were snapping them up instead of twentysomethings the car was aimed at.

There are more Facebook users over 55 years old today than there are high school students using the site.

Let’s face it. How many places do kids want to hang out where they are likely to run into their parents?

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