If anything’s gonna make MySpace uncool among today’s youth, this might be it: according to new market research from comScore Media Metrix, leading social networking sites can attract users of very different age demographics—and over half the visitors to social networking juggernaut MySpace.com are now over 35 years of age!
“While the top social networking sites are typically viewed as directly competing with one another, our analysis demonstrates that each site occupies a slightly different niche,” commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix, in a release. “There is a misconception that social networking is the exclusive domain of teenagers, but this analysis confirms that the appeal of social networking sites is far broader.”
If comScore’s numbers can be relied upon, social networking sites MySpace and Friendster tend to skew towards an older audience—with 68 and 71 percent of their users, respectively, clocking in age 25 and older—although MySpace would seem to have the broadest appeal across all age ranges. Conversely, Xanga.com and Facebook both boast younger age ranges, with 20 percent of Xanga’s users between 12 and 17 years of age, and campus-oriented Facebook counting 34 percent of its users between 18 and 24 years old.
MySpace’s rapid growth appears to have created a significant demographic shift in its community: in August 2005, teens 12 to 17 represented nearly a quarter of the site’s overall users; now, that age range accounts for just 11.9 percent of the site’s total audience, while adults between the ages of 35 and 54 now account for 40.6 percent of the MySpace usership. Similarly, MySpace users between 25 and 34 accounted for 10.4 percent of the site’s users in August 2005; this year, they total 16.7 percent of the pool.
Just remember, it’s not the years which make your profile seem old: it’s the miles.