Facebook has become a huge part of social media these days. This tool that was designed back in 2004 for college students has grown to 300 million users. Mark Zuckerman who at the time of inception was a college student who wanted a way for college students to be able to communicate with each other.
It is reported by The Daily Mustang, that each day, people around the world spend more than six billion minutes on Facebook, where they post 40 million status updates and become fans of 10 million pages.
When Facebook started out, it took almost 5 years to grow to 150 million users. In nine months, Facebook has grown from 150 million users to 300 million.
Growth of Facebook is being attributed to the 35 and older crowd. The fastest pace of growth comes from older Americans according to iStrategy Labs. People 55 and older grew by 513 percent since July of 2009, and now that group makes up 8 percent of all active Facebook users.
A lot of 55 and older people enjoy Facebook because of the distance between family members. They can see their grand kids growing up right there on their screen instead of waiting to have the family visit. Speaking as a Facebook user in the 35 + group, I have tried to get my Dad and Mother-in-law to get an account and they both seem uninterested. I have express the fact that they can see pictures and only let the family be their friends. But to no avail they have not yet become Facebook members. Maybe I can make them a profile and show them how easy it is to use.
According to some polling of SMU students, they are a little disturbed at the older crowd using Facebook. In fact Since Jan 2009, student only make up 25% of the Facebook active members. Users aged 18 – 24 have fallen from 41% to 25%. This is still an increase of 1 million users in 6 months among that age group.
Facebook, I believe is becoming more than a social networking outlet. Yes, most people use it to keep up with their friends and family, but Facebook also provides a business aspect that can be used to capture leads by "word of mouth" so to speak. This could be the reason for the increased number of 35+ people. They are using Facebook Fan Pages to get people to notice their brand and to become known.
Kudos to the 35+ people who have transformed what was once only for geeks and college kids to something useful in every day life and business.