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This article was published on June 8, 2012

    Make room for your grandparents. The Silver Surfer population is growing according to latest research

    Make room for your grandparents. The Silver Surfer population is growing according to latest research
    Jamillah Knowles
    Story by

    Jamillah Knowles

    Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemi Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemimah_knight or drop a line to [email protected]

    If you’re thinking about marketing for the Web, make sure you remember the older generation as the latest research from Pew Internet & American Life Project and Forrester shows that more than half of all US adults over 65 are using the Internet or email and 49% of digital seniors are already on Facebook.

    Those are some interesting figures when it comes to tuning applications and services to suit a broader audience.

    Though it has taken a while, it’s good to see more citizens of the older persuasion using the Web. According to Pew, 70% of web-oriented seniors are online every day.

    Email appears to be the main method of online communication for older folk. Pew says that as of August 2011, 86% of Internet users over 65 years old use email with 48% doing so on a typical day.

    Gadgets are also not only the domain of youngsters,  Forrester says that computers, HDTVs and digital cameras may be items that seniors mostly didn’t grow up with, but many are now embracing new technologies as part of their daily lives. Pew points out that 69% of adults ages 65 and older have a mobile phone too.

    There are standard stereotypes associated with the older part of the population online. Hopefully this rise in numbers will mean that usability and access to computing and the Internet is getting easier.

    If the Internet is to truly reflect more of the global population, this means we need more Silver Surfers online too. It’s easy to get caught up in an echo chamber of people who are similar to you, but it’s also nice to hear the voice of experience from time to time.

    Image Credits: Moodboard, mhofstrand