Is Grey the New Black?

And we’re not talking the 50 Shades kind!

According to a new study more people over the age of 65 are using Facebook1. The study found that the increasing numbers were a result of them wanting to reconnect with old friends and maintain existing relationships, such as a desire to see what their children and grandchildren were doing. This brings to mind one of my favorite all time posts on Facebook. . .

The 65+ age group was found to be the fastest growing demographic across social media with a 14 point increase from 48% to 62% in a year. The Millennials are still the largest group at 88%, but growth is slowing as indicated in the graphbelow. All this is a wake-up call to marketers who still believe Facebook and other social media platforms are only for the younger generations.


A separate study by also reported that the 65+ demographic were most influenced by ads on Instagram. They were the group most likely to search for products after seeing Instagram promoted posts, with an 80% indication rate versus 40% for Millennials3.

The implications for anyone looking to target an audience on Instagram:

  1. The 65+ demographic is a lucrative market: Older adults have more disposable income than teenagers and students, likely a result of their own offspring leaving home.
  2. Changing times: The demographics of social media change as fast as Facebook statuses – 293,000 status updates every 60 seconds if you really want to know4. How can you possibly keep up? The trick is to use the Facebook pixel on your website so you know the type of visitors who are interested in your product, which also allows you to build lookalike audiences you can target. If you discover that a big portion of your audience is 65+, well then indeed, grey can be the new black!

1 Source: 2016
2 Source: Pew Research Center Social Media update 2016, November 2016.
3 Source: Adweek March, 2017
4 Source: The Social Skinny

Is Grey the New Black?

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