News

Social Networking Sites Aimed at Seniors Growing in Number

A growing number of social-networking websites are being developed for people over the age of 50. The Internet monitoring company Hitwise says 14 percent of adult Internet users are older than 55.  And it predicts seniors in Britain will overtake 35 to 44 year olds as the age group with the largest representation online. There's a boom in networking sites targeting older people interested in keeping in touch with friends and chatting about subjects such as diet and health care. Steve Mort reports from Orlando, Florida for VOA.

The executives at GrowingBolder.com meet to discuss how their new website for so-called "silver surfers" will look.

Marc Middleton is the founder of this new Internet site.  He says it will be a social-networking service, similar to youth-oriented sites like MySpace and Facebook, but with content relevant to older users.

He claims, on average, people over 50 spend more time online than any other demographic group, but so far have been ignored by online entrepreneurs.

"The U.S. is such a youth worshipping culture and I think Hollywood is to blame for that more than anything else. And there's just a dramatic, revolutionary change underway right now. It's no longer people fighting aging.  It's embracing aging."

Online marketing trade publisher, iMedia Connection, says more than 43 million people aged 50 or older used the Internet in 2005 -- up 21 percent from the previous year.

GrowingBolder's founders say those users generally have more money to spend and show more loyalty to certain websites.  They say less-mobile seniors often use the Internet to keep in touch.

The company's executive vice president is Bill Shafer. "Think of what it can do for seniors. Think of how it can take people who are not feeling relevant anymore, that feel that they've lost their voice in society, and it gives them their voice back. It makes them relevant".

It also makes them relevant to advertisers.

For example, drug companies -- which now market many medications to older people -- are spending more online.  The pharmaceutical publication, Pharmalive, says more than 30 percent of the marketing budgets of such firms is dedicated to social networking.

GrowingBolder describes itself more like a TV station than a website, offering video stories and interviews with celebrities over 50.

But the number of so-called "graying Internet" sites is growing. Boomertown, Multiply, ReZoom and others are all looking for a share of the expanding seniors market.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs