eMarketer is reporting that “47% of 50-to-64-year-old internet users and 26% of seniors ages 65 and up indicate that they now use [social networking] sites, with Facebook and LinkedIn being the main beneficiaries of the more mature traffic.”
This makes the older generation the fastest growing group of social networkers, almost double the rate of a year ago.
Advertising budgets are rising to reflect this: US-spending on Facebook advertising should pass $1 billion next year.
eMarketer says that the mass appeal of Facebook is a boon to marketers in an “age of media fragmentation,” which may be true to an extent, but is a silly way of putting it.
I disagree with suggesting that Facebook, now that it has passed its 500 millionth user and is penetrating every age demographic, is finally the way to achieve the reach marketers had back in the 1940′s when there were only 3 networks.
You can advertise to all 500 million users on Facebook, or you can carefully refine the group you market to based on the information they have provided that indicates an actual interest in what you’re selling.
Either way, mass awareness will never be the same because there are too many choices, and choices aren’t going away. I don’t have to watch what you watch, read what you read, or buy what you buy.