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This article was published on June 30, 2010


    The Internet’s Next Big Growth Spurt? Over 50s Flock Online

    The Internet’s Next Big Growth Spurt? Over 50s Flock Online Image by: PA
    Martin Bryant
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    Martin Bryant

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    Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

    With the Internet fast becoming a utility as important as gas, electricity or a phone connection, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that over 50s are leading the charge in the latest usage growth stats.

    New Media Age reports on figures from UKOM that show that the UK’s internet population grew by 1.9 m, from 36.9m to 38.8m during 2009. 53% of these new users were over 50.

    With so many younger people now ‘digital natives’ who have woven the Internet into their everyday lives, there really was nowhere else for significant growth to come from. With the UK population estimated at around 61.8m, we’re now looking at around 63% of UK residents being online.

    Who makes up that remain 37% of the population? There remain disadvantaged communities where online access is scarce for all age groups, but we can certainly expect ever increasing numbers of those over 50 to get online. When that happens, it will be interesting to see the effect it has on web design. Just like with mobile phone design , clever and ‘sexy’ designs for websites may cause accessibility problems for some people of older generations. Might we see more sites aimed at broad audiences opt for simpler, ‘back to basics’ designs?