Social Networks Aging; MySpace Matures from Under 25 to Over 35

Significant age differences exist between the user bases of leading social networking sites, and more than half of MySpace visitors are now age 35 or older, according to comScore Media MetrixAs social networking sites have become mainstream, the demographic composition of MySpace.com has changed considerably.  Last year half of the site’s visitors were at least 25 years old, while today more than two-thirds of MySpace visitors are age 25 or older. 

MySpace: % Composition 
of Unique Visitors

Source: comScore Media Metrix Aug-05

Aug-06

Unique Visitors

21.8 million

55.8 million

Total Audience (%)

100.0

100.0

    Persons: 12-24

44.3

30.0

    Persons: 25-34

10.4

16.7

    Persons: 35+

39.5

51.6

Visitors to MySpace.com and Friendster.com generally skew older, with people age 25 and older comprising 68 and 71 percent of their user bases, respectively.  Meanwhile, Xanga.com has a younger user profile, with 20% of its users in the 12-17 age range, about twice as high as that age segment’s representation within the total Internet audience.  Not surprisingly, Facebook.com, which began as a social networking site for college students, also draws a younger audience.  More than one-third (34%) of visitors to Facebook.com are 18-24 years old, approximately three times the representation of that age segment in the general Internet population.

comScore analysis demonstrates that each site occupies a slightly different niche: 

  • MySpace.com has the broadest appeal across age ranges, 

  • Facebook.com has created a niche among the college crowd, 

  • Friendster.com attracts a higher percentage of adults, and 

  • Xanga.com is most popular among younger teens. 

This analysis confirms that the appeal of social networking sites is far broader than the  misconception that social networking is the exclusive domain of teenagers.

Source: comScore Media Metrix

 

Percent (%) Composition of Unique Visitors - Aug'06

Total Internet

MySpace.com

Facebook.com

Friendster.com

Xanga.com

Unique Visitors (000)

173,407

55,778

14,782

1,043

8,066

Total Audience

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

    Persons: 12-17

9.6

11.9

14.0

10.6

20.3

    Persons: 18-24

11.3

18.1

34.0

15.6

15.5

    Persons: 25-34

14.5

16.7

8.6

28.2

11.0

    Persons: 35-54

38.5

40.6

33.5

34.5

35.6

    Persons: 55+

18.0

11.0

7.6

8.1

7.3

An analysis of visitors to MySpace.com shows that as the site has experienced dramatic visitor growth, it has become more popular among older Internet users.  The most significant shift has occurred among teens 12-17, who accounted for 24.7 percent of the MySpace audience in August 2005, but today represent a much lower 11.9 percent of the site’s total audience.  Conversely, Internet users between the ages of 35-54 now account for 40.6 percent of the MySpace visitor base, an 8.2 percentage point increase during the past year.

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