Yesterday, Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs released a demographics report of Facebook users with trending patterns from January through June of this year. The same day, Justin Smith of Inside Facebook released his own data indicating recent demographic trends. Both sets of data indicated the same thing: Strong growth in virtually every age category above 25, and noteworthy growth of US Facebook users 55+. (as in 513% growth over 6 months, to nearly 6 million users!) Yup, now it's not just mom and dad on Facebook, it's Grandma and Grandpa. It turns out, those photos of the kids are driving LOTS of aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas onto Facebook. This presents great opportunities for brands and marketers, of course.
But the story gets even more interesting: Current user numbers suggest between a 15%-20% DROP in high school and college students. Yup, I said DROP. I've been saying for awhile that as Facebook gets older and older users on board, there is sure to be a fallout. A google search of "My mom's on Facebook" (in quotes!) yields 43,000 results. It feels a lot less cooler to use Facebook when your mom (and now grandma) are on board friending you.
So the question is, where are the students going? Undoubtedly, some are going to myYearbook.com, the social networking site geared towards 13-21 year olds which claims over 5 million users. My guess, however, is that the decline in college students and high school students is not as steep as the numbers indicate, yet. Arguably there are graduated high school students who haven't yet registered in college networks yet, and there are definitely 8th-grade-graduates who have not registered in a high school network yet. Plus school's out for summer, so maybe students are reaffiliating themselves with their jobs and not identifying themsevles as students?
Will those student numbers grow again in September, or will Granny's numbers keep rising while the kids run fast?
I can't wait to find out!