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AARP Overhauls Website as New Research Finds Social Networking Continues to Rise Among Boomers and 50+ Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2010

CONTACT

AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org, 202.434.2560

 

AARP Overhauls Website as New Research Finds Social Networking Continues to Rise Among Boomers and 50+ Americans

New AARP.org bolsters social networking and online community capacity and features

 

Washington, DC—New research from AARP finds that social networking is more important than ever to older Americans—more than a quarter (27%) of Americans age 50+ use social media websites, with Facebook being the most popular, followed by MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Results come as AARP debuts its overhauled website (www.aarp.org), with an increased focus on social networking and its 276,000-strong online community, as well as a new look, feel and design.

“The latest data tells us that more and more, social networking is becoming a part of everyday life for Americans 50+, and boomers in particular,” said AARP Chief Communications Officer Kevin Donnellan. “AARP must deliver the same reliable information and first-rate resources we always have, but in a more interactive way, when and where AARP.org users and online community members want it.”

Additional Survey Findings

*         Forty-nine percent of those 50 to 64, and 40 percent of all adults 50+, consider themselves extremely or very comfortable using the Internet.

*         Facebook is the most popular social networking site for Americans 50+, with 23 percent of survey participants reporting they prefer it—followed by MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter, all at about 4 percent.

*         Forty-seven percent of adults 50+ originally heard about social networking from a family member other than their spouse, and of those, 70 percent heard about it from a child or grandchild.

*         Among adults 50+ who use social media websites, three-quarters (73 percent) are connected to relatives other than children and grandchildren, three-fifths are connected to their children (62 percent), and one-third (36 percent) are connected to grandchildren.

*         Eighty-three percent of those 50+ have heard of the Apple iPad, and among those familiar with the device, 11 percent plan to purchase or want one and 2 percent reported they already have. The numbers are even higher for baby boomers aged 50 to 64, with 86 percent reporting they have heard of the iPad and 14 percent planning or wanting to purchase one.

Interviews were conducted via telephone May 12 to 17, 2010, among a nationally representative sample of 1,360 adults age 50 or older. The margin of error was +/- 3 percent. For more information on survey results, visit http://www.aarp.org/technology/social-media/info-06-2010/socmedia.html.

The new AARP.org allows users to share content seamlessly between the online community and other social networking sites. New navigation and enhanced search capability also provides better results. Articles, pictures, and videos are easier to access and use.

Additionally, by July much of AARP’s online content will be available on handheld devices, such as e-readers, smart phones and mobile phones. Included in the mobile content is the new AARP Digital Newsstand that features online versions of AARP The Magazine, the AARP Bulletin, and AARP VIVA.  Additionally, new content relationships will soon offer more information and tools for AARP members and people of all ages, beginning with travel destination guides from Frommer’s Unlimited©. Additional content relationships will roll out throughout the summer.

Now through July 13, visitors to AARP.org can play AARP’s Ultimate Trivia Sweepstakes—a virtual scavenger hunt—which offers a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize plus daily instant prizes like gift certificates and AARP gear. The game is available at www.aarp.org/trivia.

 

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

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If you are an AARP member and not with the press, call 1-888-OUR-AARP or email member@aarp.org.

 

If you are a reporter with a media inquiry please contact the AARP Media Relations Office: 202-434-2560 or media@aarp.org.

 

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