If you find yourself lying awake at night imagining ways to use Facebook as a recruiting tool, relax and get some sleep. We may be seeing the demise of the social networking colossus as a gathering place for young people.
The reason? Teens are tripping over their parents and grandparents as they rummage around in Facebook these days. And the young have demonstrated in the past that when older people discover their meeting place, they tend to move on.
A recent study by iStrategyLabs shows a staggering 276% jump in the number of 35 to 54-year-old users of the network in the last six months alone. “That demographic is doubling roughly every two months,” reports the digital agency.
And the 55+ demo — teens’ grandparents — is not far behind, growing at a 194% rate.
When Granny starts tagging you with her “25 random things about me,” you start looking for another place to hang out.
Social networking experts have been saying for some time that young people are finding other places online. There’s a growing number of smaller niche sites where Millennials engage people who share their interests — and their age bracket.
Some colleges have recognized this trend and are putting more of their time and energy in operating their own private and secure social networking site. They can even operate separate sites — one for accepted students, let’s say, another for respondents to Student Search mailings.
And none of those students will have to worry about comments from their great uncles.
Read more about our authors. Ray Ulmer, public relations director at TargetX, has been involved in higher education marketing for more than 25 years, including serving as executive director of communications at La Salle University and director of public relations at Drexel University. He has also worked in corporate marketing and advertising.