Who Spends Time on Facebook and Why

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As you decide whether to invest in building a presence for your company on Facebook, it’s important to ask where your target audiences are spending time. 94% of college students surveyed for The Facebook Era (my book published last year) said they do not use email on a regular basis. They prefer text messages and Facebook wall posts. What happens when these cohorts of individuals graduate and become the people you are trying to hire, manage, sell and market to?

But it’s not just college students. More than half of Facebook’s 130 million users in the U.S. are older than 25 (see Figure 3). The largest increase in Facebook and Twitter users last year actually came from those aged 35–49. And surprisingly, the fastest growing audience on Facebook is women over 55, an impressive feat considering this group traditionally has tended to be techno-phobic. More and more, people are relying on social networking sites as a primary means to communicate with friends and follow brands (see Figure 3). Certainly, companies need to be where the customers are and communicate through the channels they prefer. People clearly pref er Facebook.

Why? Facebook appeals to innate and universal human desires for self expression, human connection, and a sense of belonging. These desires are especially strong online, which prior to social networking sites were beginning to feel overly vast, unnavigable, and anonymous for many Internet users. Facebook captures our photos, feelings, and relationships in real time and makes the Web feel increasingly human.

over half of Facebook users

Well over half of Facebook users in the United States are older than 25. The data
suggests that Facebook has “gone mainstream” and is used by people of all
different age groups to connect with both friends and brands. In addition, 40% of
users “like” one or more brands on Facebook.