Senior citizens in the US are the fastest growing group of Facebook users, nearly doubling in numbers between 2012 and 2019, a vast shift from the platform's beginnings as a service for college students.
New data from the Pew Research Center shows that 37% of the "Silent" generation, those born before 1945, are now on Facebook, compared to 21% in 2012. Baby Boomers are also increasingly on Facebook: 43% of the generation were on in 2012, whereas 60% have accounts in 2019. The numbers of Millennials and Gen-Xers on the platform, meanwhile, have kept relatively steady.
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More users is good news for Facebook, but their age is less so, because it could mean the platform will start losing users. Surveys have consistently shown that -- with some exceptions -- the youngest generation shuns Facebook in favor of other platforms, including the Facebook owned-Instagram.
The new Pew data also looked at the ownership of smartphones, which for those between ages 74 and 91 is 40%. Meanwhile, 19% of Millennials are smartphone-only internet users, meaning they do not have broadband service at home.
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