Is Your Grandpa On Facebook Yet?

If he's not, his friends might be: A survey of British adults showed significant jumps in the number of people over 55 with a social media presence, offsetting a corresponding slowdown among younger people.

What's the Latest Development?

A survey of Internet users conducted by British telecom regulator Ofcom revealed that the biggest increase in the number of people using social media occurred among users aged 55 to 64. Today, 35 percent of surveyed people in this group have a social media profile, up 11 points from 2011. In addition, 25 percent of respondents aged 65 and over put up a profile, a jump of 6 points from the previous year. Like their younger counterparts, most older people use social media for keeping in touch with friends and family.

What's the Big Idea?

The increased growth in social networking among the 55-and-over crowd offsets much slower growth among younger users, which some experts say marks a trend towards their abandoning social networking for messaging. That said, half of surveyed adults reported visiting a social network more than once a day; only a third did so in 2011. This may be due in part to the proliferation of smartphones: A separate study done earlier this month by app analytics company Flurry showed that about a quarter of smartphone users' online time is spent on Facebook and other social media services.

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