Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Uh oh! Facebook No Longer Smells Like Teen Spirit; Students Down 20%, 55+ Up 514%

by Andrew Nusca
Source: ZD Net

If you think Facebook is just a site that’s all the rage with kids today — “those kids and their Faceplace” — you’re dead wrong.

College and high school users have declined in absolute number by 20 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in the last six months, according to estimates Facebook provides to advertisers via ReadWriteWeb.

At the same time, Facebook users aged 55 and over have skyrocketed from less than a million to almost six million (that’s more than 500 percent) in the same time period — meaning that there are now more Facebook users over 55 years old than there are high school students on the site.

In other words, there are actually fewer high school and college users on Facebook today than there were six months ago.

Here’s iStrategyLabs on the numbers: CLICK GRAPH BELOW FOR FULL REPORT

The data is available from Facebook’s self-serve advertising program, which is open to anyone. iStrategy simply captured the data from six months ago for comparison.

More interesting takeaways from the data:

  • Users with undeclared education levels are way up. That might mean alumni may not feel inclined to list their alma mater on the site; that may also mean that users who didn’t go to college at all are growing.
  • There is a statistical discrepancy: the number of male users plus the number of female users adds up to a lower number than the number of users shown when no gender is selected in the advertising platform. Facebook says the figures are “rough, not actual” — but they’re still reasonably in the ballpark.
  • 35-54 year-olds are now the biggest group of users on Facebook.

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