The shifting demographics of Facebook
There have been a plethora of articles in the last few days about the shifting demographics of Facebook. To quote one such article:
…Facebook’s seen its 35-54 demo membership blow up by 276.4 percent between June 2008 and January 2009. The 55-and over contingent grew 194.3 percent in the same amount of time. In comparison, that ever-so-sought 18-24 group bounced just 20.6 percent. The total number of Facebook users aged 35-plus in October 2007 totaled just fewer than 845,000, while as of this past January, their combined might totals just less than 8 million – 18.9 percent of the total Facebook pie.
So what does this mean for us today?
I believe it means a few things…
Facebook may be around awhile. While younger generations may be more apt to switch to the latest and greatest, their older counterparts are less likely to shift as quickly. And that is compounded by the nature of Facebook – if I’ve gone through all the work to connect with hundreds of friends and acquaintances, I’m not going to be too keen on rebuilding that network of people elsewhere.
Facebook will continue to become the killer application more and more. Think about it. Facebook is Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Classmates.com, Gmail, and AOL Instant Messenger all in one application. And now with the release of vanity URLs, it will become a public website for many people.
There is hope for fundraising on Facebook. Up until the last year, no matter what other barriers Facebook has faced to becoming a strong source of fundraising, the primary barrier is that the demographics were all wrong. Young people just don’t give as much or as often as their elders, in aggregate (that isn’t to say in the future they won’t become the greatest giving generation, by the way). But now we’re seeing the demographics of Facebook shift towards the sweet spot for fundraising. It should be exciting!
What do you think?