When tech leaders started toying with the idea of a new way to organize the web in the early 2000s, the internet was still the domain of mostly younger generations. Sure, some older people enjoyed using the internet, but a majority of them had no idea about social media and the other platforms that grew out of the shift into Web 2.0.
Now that we’re ten-plus years away from the beginnings of Web 2.0, much has changed. Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have come to dominate the web and are now integrated into almost every website out there. Not only this, but the population of users online has grown dramatically.
One of the fastest growing groups online are seniors. Just three years ago, internet users between 50 and 64 grew upwards of 88% in just one year. That pattern has been continuing every year after thanks to technology like tablets and smart phones that makes it easier for them to connect instead of intimidating desktops and laptops. In that same year, the percentage of seniors using social media doubled and has continued at a great pace until now.
If the changes toward a more user-centered internet experience had never been adopted by the biggest tech companies, there’s little evidence that the older population would be adopting the internet as fast as they are. Some of the main reasons that seniors are adopting the internet is for the vast amount of content that’s accessible and the ease of communicating with their loved ones.
Furthermore, it’s a lot easier for them to do their shopping, share photos and videos, and reconnect with old, long-lost friends. Another bonus for seniors online is that there are plenty of opportunities for them to learn something new and to exercise their mind to keep them mentally fit.
Moving forward as younger generations get older, there will be a majority of seniors on the internet. This will definitely be an interesting time for the web. How the web will react to this growing demographic continues to develop and may be a lucrative niche for some smart web designers.