Rise of the silver surfer | Breakthrough Funding

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Rise of the silver surfer

The Grey Pound is an online force to be reckoned with

More than three-quarters of British pensioners who access the internet are using social media in some form, a recent study has revealed.

There are 10 million people aged over 65 in the UK, yet this demographic is largely overlooked in the pursuit of ever younger, more tech-savvy audiences. However, the report commissioned by stairlift maker Stannah found that more than half of online ‘silver surfers’ are using Facebook and it was by far the most popular social media platform.

While just one in 10 said they used social media to keep up with the news, a large majority (61%) found it was a great way to stay in touch with family and friends. Just as instant communication and enhanced connectivity has boosted the social lives and business connections of younger users, it seems that the cyber world has much to offer older people too – many of whom may find themselves becoming socially isolated as the years go by.

Nearly a fifth of those surveyed said they spent between 16 and 30 minutes on social media sites every day, with 11% whiling away more than an hour, so it’s clear to see that there’s a growing market for pension-age audiences.

It will be interesting to see how internet providers, software and app developers and advertisers choose to exploit this market – as exploit it, they surely will. For all the benefits of being online though, there will inevitably be pitfalls to negotiate. Given the recent media coverage about the need to protect children from the evils of the internet, could there be a similar push to ensure that people who have not grown up with such technology can stay safe and savvy out there?

If you’re working on technology or apps aimed at silver surfers, get in touch on 0800 772 0800 to let us know what you’re doing to open up the Worldwide Web to the older generation.

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