"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," says a nes release this week by the Internet research firm comScore Media Metrix. For example,40% of MySpace visitors are 35 years old or older, the analysis claims.
“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," commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix.
"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,” Flanagan added.
Visitors to MySpace.com and Friendster.com generally skew older, he continued, 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 percent 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 percent) of visitors to Facebook.com are 18-24 years old, approximately three times the representation of that age segment in the general Internet population."
As social networking sites have become mainstream, this analysis suggets, 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.
“It will be interesting to monitor the shifts in Facebook’s demographic composition that will undoubtedly occur as a result of the company’s recent decision to open its doors to users of all ages,” said Flanagan.