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More silver surfers going social

26 April 2013 09:32

Silver surfing: More and more older people are using social networking sites

Silver surfing: More and more older people are using social networking sites

Britain's online population is going greyer - with an increasing number of so-called 'silver surfers' turning to social networking, says a new report from Ofcom.

Baby boomers are the main age group fuelling a rise in use of sites such as Facebook. This reflects the trend that older people are increasingly going online to perform various tasks, from paying bills to arranging holiday trips.

There, they can see what they're booking by browsing online review sites - before they actually choose their getaway destination, while they can also arrange their seniors travel insurance via the web. Communications regulator Ofcom says the number of 55 to 64-year-olds with a social networking profile rose by almost half last year, from 24% in 2011 to 35% in 2012.

The proportion of adults with a social networking profile increased to 64% in 2012 from 59% a year earlier. Ofcom's annual survey of attitudes to media also found total time spent online grew last year to an average of nearly 17 hours per week. This was two hours more than in 2011 and driven by a 10% rise in smartphone ownership to 54% of the population.