Which Age Group Is Rocketing Facebook, Twitter To The Top?

social network

Facebook is still biggest social network on the Web, experiencing the biggest growth in the past 12 months. Twitter is also experiencing growth, but both social networks are getting a boost in numbers by a demographic that is rapidly getting up to speed on social networking.

According to a new report from Experian Hitwise, a global information services company, Facebook in September maintained its dominance as the most popular social network with U.S. Web browsers, with its market share jumping 194 percent from the previous year. Twitter also made big gains in the past 12 months, ranking as the fourth most popular social network in the U.S. with 1.84 percent of the market and showing a percentage growth of 1,170 percent.

The gains experienced by both Facebook and Twitter in the past 12 months appear to come mostly at the expense of MySpace, which saw its social networking market share drop by 55 percent even though users spent the most average time on the Rupert Murdoch-owned site.

Experian Hitwise came to its conclusions by sampling the data of 10 million U.S. Internet users to measure the online traffic to each social network.

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The growth on social networks is, at least in part, being fueled by older users flocking to the sites like Facebook and Twitter. Experian Hitwise found that the 55-plus demographic on Facebook now comprises 13.53 percent of users, a growth of 108 percent from September 2008. Meanwhile, users between the ages of 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 still comprise the largest segment of users on Facebook at 26.96 percent and 23.31 percent, respectively.

MySpace also saw growth in the 55-and-up demographic, growing 26 percent to 6.84 percent over the past year. However, the older social network saw a 13 percent decline in users ages 18 to 24. The 25 to 34 demographic grew 12 percent to comprise 22.43 percent of users.