14 Dec A recent article at Mahable.com discusses a Nielsen report showing that a significantly larger number of people 65+ are spending their time on the Internet. The numbers for 2009 are staggering when compared to those of 2008.

In a recent study conducted by Nielsen, the number of active web users over the age of 65 has increased to 6 million over the last 5 years. That is an amazing number. This means that seniors are actively engaging with Internet services such as e-mail, websites and social networks. Their participation has increased 55% in only 5 years.

Of all the data Nielsen collected, the most intriguing was the information about how these seniors were using their time on the Internet. Google search was number 1 with little surprise, followed by Windows Media Player. Both of these should come at little or no surprise, but the next two should grab our attention.

Coming in at 3 and 4 are Facebook and Youtube. Many times real estate marketers and developers are afraid that a social media strategy can’t appeal to an older generation. Well, here is some hard evidence that seniors might be a little more web savvy than you think.

Here is a crazy little fact. In last year’s survey of senior Internet use, Facebook was number 45 on the list of online destinations. This year it was number 4. Pretty big jump don’t you think? Do you still think that the 55+ crowds can’t be reached on social networking sites?

The article over at Mashable.com puts a great perspective on it.

“This is just what happens when new technologies become more accessible and more mainstream.”

There is so much truth in that statement. Think about how easy it’s becoming for people to access Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site. The easier it becomes, the more relevant it becomes in marketing.

What do you think? If you were developing a product for the 55+ crowds, would you consider using the Internet as a main component of your marketing plan? What about implementing social media now that you have read the above? Let us know.

Sibet B Freides